A white supremacist accuse of terrorizing a small town in southwestern North Dakota had his bail set at $1 million cash on Friday by a Bismarck judge.
Craig Cobb, 62, is being held in the Stanton jail on seven felony charges. He is accused of terrorizing residents while on an armed patrol of his property in Leith. If convicted, he could face up to 35 years in prison.
The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that there was no evidence to support holding Cobb without bail, ruling that a reasonable bond needed to be set by Friday.
Cobb, who also is wanted in Canada on a hate crime charge, moved to Leith about 1 1/2 years ago. He bought land and a house, and encouraged others with similar views to join him to create a voting majority in the community of 23 residents.
But he has clashed with locals, who want him to leave. Prosecutors allege he used a gun to terrorize residents on Nov. 16. Cobb said he was patrolling because of violence and harassment directed at him.
A man who joined Cobb in Leith, Kynan Dutton, also was charged with seven counts of terrorizing. His bail has been set at $50,000. Cobb's court-appointed attorney, Ryan Heintz, also had asked for $50,000 bond.
But South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland agreed with the state's recommendation $1 million bond, saying she considers Cobb a flight risk and the charges involve threats against individuals.
"It is of significant concern to the court that you fled another country to avoid prosecution," Feland told a handcuffed Cobb, who appeared by video from the Mercer County Courthouse.
Authorities said Cobb can't be extradited to Canada because the charge against him there doesn't exist under U.S. law.
Feland ordered Cobb to stay away from Leith unless escorted by authorities. He also was ordered to have no contact with the seven citizens he is accused of terrorizing. Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Byers said photos and video show Cobb confronting citizens with a "long-barrel gun" with his "finger on the trigger."
"Were it not for the intervention of authorities, something bad was going to happen," Byers told the judge.
Heintz said he did not dispute the severity of the charges, but he said the allegations are under debate. He is Cobb's fourth attorney; three other public defenders consecutively withdrew from the case.
A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 13.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.