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Man claims religion prohibits him from carrying license

Associated Press, USA
Nov. 17, 2004 • Wednesday November 17, 2004

PINEVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri man who claims he answers to God and not the government remained jailed Tuesday after his third arrest on a charge of driving his pickup truck without a license.

Robert Joos also is charged with resisting arrest by fleeing from a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper. Both McDonald County charges are felonies.

Joos, 51, of Powell, was arrested Sunday after a trooper allegedly spotted him driving east of Pineville.

The trooper said in court records that he pursued Joos for 16 minutes. Joos eventually was arrested at his 200-acre compound, where he leads a handful of followers of the Sacerdotal Church of David.

McDonald County prosecutor Steve Geeding said the charge of driving without a license is a felony because it is Joos’ third such offense.

Joos was convicted on two misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license in 2002, despite his claims then that his religion prohibits him from carrying a license. Joos’ appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court was denied.

“I have no adhesive contracts with the government,” Joos wrote in a motion before his 2002 trial. “As a Christian Israelite and a Nazarite, I am a servant of God and can have no covenant with the heathen government.”

He also argued that people who drive but do not carry passengers or cargo or receive pay to drive are not required under federal law to obtain a driver’s license.

Joos failed to complete his community service in that case and was arrested again in June, authorities said. The judge allowed probation, which could be revoked due to Sunday’s incident.

Joos remained jailed Tuesday on $10,000 bond. His arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday.

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