Outside of the Madison County Courthouse in Virginia City on Wednesday, a mobile billboard and protesters gathered in support of the North Carolina missionaries that were arrested in November following an altercation with a local man.
“I'm here to support these missionaries that were wrongfully charged back in November,” said John Lamb, who pulled up with the mobile billboard that read, 'Missionaries Assaulted and Arrested By Corrupt Madison County Deputies'.
It all started on November 12 when a confrontation allegedly took place in Madison County between several missionaries from North Carolina and local motel owner, Brad Terrell. The missionaries claim they were acting in self-defense, and that Terrell was threatening them. Now, three of them are charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, and say they were treated unfairly by the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
Several people gathered outside of the courthouse on the day of their omnibus court hearing over zoom.
“We've got the big sign here that kind of looks like it's kind of heavy on the deputies and stuff, but there's really good reason for it,” said William Loessberg, who stood outside the courthouse to show his support.
Loessberg says he came out to support the missionaries after watching footage from the day of the arrest.
“One video comes from the game warden that was involved. And in that video, the officers are all standing around together discussing, and if you find that video and look at it, it looks like they're conspiring,” said Loessberg.
Paul Landgaard, another supporter of the missionaries that gathered outside the courthouse, believes this case shouldn't have gotten as far as it has.
“I hope there's some accountability. You know, the Attorney General's office in Montana should have dismissed this case a long time ago,” said Landgaard.
For John Lamb, he's hopeful the missionaries' case will have a positive outcome.
“This hearing probably won't bring much, but I'm hoping for sure that they get found not guilty or the case is just dismissed against them,” said Lamb.
The missionaries' trial is set for November, a year after their arrest.
MTN News reached out to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, which said it does not have a statement at this time.