Aaron James Powell\'s status conference hearing in the Essex County Courthouse in Guildhall lasted maybe 20 minutes.

In that short time, Powell and his supporters successfully tried the patience of Judge Dennis Pearson.

< b > Essex District Court < /b >

Powell was in the Guildhall courthouse Tuesday to set a date for trial on two charges: felony unlawful trespass and a misdemeanor unlawful trespass charge. The prosecutor in the case, State\'s Attorney Vincent Illuzzi, told the court he is ready for trial. The court determined the felony charge will proceed first and scheduled jury selection for Oct. 30.

Powell, in handcuffs and leg chains, was escorted into the courtroom by a corrections officer. Pearson asked him if he was ready to proceed, addressing him as Mr. Powell. Powell responded that he didn\'t know anyone by that name. \"Mr. Powell is not my name,\" he said.

A man standing in the back of the court room yelled, \"Take the shackles off.\"

Pearson attempted to respond to Powell\'s claim, but Powell continued speaking in a louder voice, ignoring his response. Pearson then raised his voice and ordered Powell to be taken from the courtroom. At this point, Powell\'s friends and supporters, numbering about 15, all stood and in unison, read aloud from a document that began \"Doctrine of De Facto Officer.\"

During the reading, Pearson continued to speak, outlining the rules of his courtroom, which include sitting and maintaining quiet while court is in session. The group continued reading. Pearson said if they do not abide by the rules, they will be arrested and charged. The bailiff and a sheriff\'s deputy attempted to quiet the group, to no avail. When the recitation concluded, Pearson continued.

\"If you stay here, you agree to the ground rules,\" he said.

Two members of the group left the courtroom. Those remaining were quiet. All but two sat down.

Pearson ordered Powell back into the courtroom. Again he addressed Powell using Mr. and again Powell claimed not to know a \"Mr. Powell.\"

\"The use of Mr. is a sly separation of church and state,\" said Powell. \"I do not know a Mr. Powell.\"

Pearson informed Powell of his right to an attorney, asking him if he was aware of that right. Powell again said he didn\'t know what Pearson was talking about and he didn\'t know a Mr. Powell.

\"I do not understand anything in reference to a Mr. Powell,\" he said.

The court set the Oct. 30 date for jury selection and Powell was led from the courtroom.

Apparently Illuzzi appeared to a couple of Powell\'s supporters to be smiling at the close of the hearing. One man came up to him shaking a book in his face, and said that Illuzzi didn\'t follow his own rules. Another woman yelled at him to stop smiling. Another woman called out, \"Justice is only justice when it\'s swift - let\'s have a trial now.\"

Powell\'s supporters attempted to submit a \"petition of redress of grievance\" to the court before the hearing began, but the court never acknowledged receipt. The group challenges the use of any rendition of Powell\'s name other than Aaron James Powell. They claim according to Vermont law, Powell has been wrongfully accused of unlawful trespass and that he had a right to occupy the Bobbin Mill Road property according to the definition of \"dwelling\" in Black\'s Law Dictionary. Therefore the arraignment was \"inappropriate and in error.\"

The petition, signed by 25 people from seven different Vermont towns and cities, calls the $50,000 bail \"highly excessive\" and states that \"any further prosecution of Aaron James Powell, Jeremiah James Powell or Deborah Jean Beaton would be well beyond malicious.\"

The petition asks for the \"immediate release of Powell from custody and from any further restraint of his liberties.\"

In addition to Powell\'s friends and family, representatives from two organizations are watching this case. Six people from the New Hampshire chapter of JAIL4Judges were in court on Tuesday. This organization wants to change the way judges are held accountable by sponsoring a law called Judicial Accountability Initiative Law or JAIL. Fred Davideit, of Hillsboro, N.H., said the organization originated in California in 1998, and has chapters in 49 states.

At least one person from the Vermont Citizens for Constitutional Government was also in court Tuesday afternoon. This organization claims public officials are not taking their oath of office and oath of allegiance as outlined in the Vermont Constitution of 1793. The group has sent letters to the secretary of state and the speaker of the House asking that the offices of governor, the attorney general and a list of others including the judges of the state courts be vacated until an election can be held and those officials can be duly sworn into office per the state\'s \"true\" constitution.

Powell was arrested May 1, for allegedly occupying his former residence on Bobbin Mill Road in Lunenburg after the property had been sold to Anthony Rossitto and Thomas Russo. He remains in the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury in lieu of $50,000 bail on the two Vermont charges of unlawful trespass.

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