LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A self-proclaimed militia member was sentenced to five years for three state charges after a chase with McLoud police in 2020. The sentences are set to run concurrently.
“He was a guy that defended his county and went sideways somehow,” said Richard Morrissette, Christopher Ledbetter’s defense attorney.
Christopher Ledbetter, 31, was sentenced on three state charges for a 2020 chase with McLoud police that occurred in Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties. The charges included endangering others while eluding, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and feloniously pointing a firearm.
“A settlement was made. And it was fair to both parties. Both parties were a little upset about the settlement, but in any settlement both parties are upset,” said Morrissette.
According to an arrest warrant obtained by KFOR, officers say the then-29 year old’s white truck drove “left of the center line three times” with a broken tail light. According to the officer, he did not realize it was Ledbetter’s truck.
“That many times is a subterfuge, sometimes a false reason why the police decide to follow someone when they decide to follow somebody,” said Morrissette. “Who knows? We don’t have any body cam footage of that. I have certainly haven’t seen any. So, it was a ‘he said, she said’ [situation].”
Instead of pulling over, Ledbetter allegedly sped off, blew through stop signs and ran another driver off the road and into a ditch.
Ledbetter than led officers to his McLoud home, located at the end of a dirt road, where the now 31-year-old allegedly “exited the vehicle holding the firearm” that “appeared to be similar to an AR-15.” The officer wrote the gun was “pointed in my direction.” That officer backed out of the driveway and took cover until backup arrived. Police left the scene and obtained an arrest warrant, in the interest of safety.
“He and the McLoud Police Department had issues. It’s not like these two were strangers,” said Morrissette.
Before his arrest, the member of the Oklahoma “Sons of Liberty” militia group was active on YouTube. Often posting videos of shooting guns and venting about his beef with the Police Department.
“I have evidence on them and they’ve been following me ever since,” said Ledbetter in a previous video.
The military veteran also filmed himself walking into McLoud Police headquarters fully armed.
“He was in the Marine Corps for four years, and apparently his experience overseas had a major effect on the way he viewed things,” said Morrissette.
Months later, during an FBI raid, agents allegedly found a fully automatic AK-47 style carbine machinegun in his car. They also found two homemade grenades, two homemade Molotov cocktails and stolen firearms.
The FBI later charged Ledbetter with unlawfully possessing a fully automatic machine gun.
A few weeks later, Ledbetter pleaded guilty to possessing the machinegun in violation of federal law. He was sentenced to 57-months in federal prison in December of 2020.
News 4 reached out to District Attorney Allan Grubb for comment, but he was unavailable Wednesday.
Morrissette also noted the judgement and sentence document shows Ledbetter pleaded guilty, but Morrissette said that is incorrect and is working to get it fixed.