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Tax protester Elaine Brown to be released from prison


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CONCORD — Elaine Brown, who took part in a monthslong armed standoff at her Plainfield home to protest a tax evasion conviction, can be released after serving over 12 years in prison, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Brown, 78, was resentenced in federal court in New Hampshire after a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year affected her case. One charge, which carried a mandatory minimum 30-year sentence, was vacated. She is scheduled to be released Feb. 28.

“I wish you all the best in your remaining years,” Judge George Singal told her.

Brown, who remains in a Texas prison, appeared by video at the hearing in Concord. When told of Singal's decision, she put her hands to her mouth and began to cry.

Brown had been sentenced to 35 years in prison after the standoff at the couple's fortress-like home on Center of Town Road in Plainfield in 2007.

Her husband, Ed Brown, received a 37-year sentence. The Browns were holed up for about nine months after they stopped showing up in court for their trial on tax evasion charges. They were convicted and sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.

Anti-tax crusaders and out-of-state militia groups rallied to their cause before U.S. marshals posing as supporters gained entry to their home and arrested them. The marshals discovered weapons, explosives and booby traps.

Elaine Brown, who had a dental practice in Lebanon, has apologized for her actions and is seeking a divorce from her husband. He also had been scheduled for resentencing Friday, but his hearing was postponed.

The Brown home was seized by the federal government, sold at auction, and has been resold twice more since then. It is now occupied and being renovated by the owners.