Today at 1:00 Joshua Burns was sentenced to one year in the county jail, and two years of probation by Judge Miriam Cavanaugh of the Livingston County Circuit Court. Josh was surrounded by a group of friends and family as Judge Cavanaugh read his sentence. Many letters attesting to Josh’s character were sent to the judge for her consideration when deciding Josh’s sentence, and the judge said that she took them into consideration. Josh also wrote a statement to the judge which can be read here.
As for Brenda’s hearing, the judge was somewhat vague when she gave a ruling in Brenda’s Show Cause Hearing. The judge maintains that DHS and the Guardian Ad Litum have a right to see Naomi at her residence based on the court’s jurisdiction over Josh’s relationship with Naomi. She also ordered that Brenda and Naomi’s current address be given to DHS. This address has already been given to DHS previously.
As Josh was escorted from the courtroom, his supporters looked on with silent prayers of support. Outside the courthouse a large group of supporters waited on the sidewalk holding signs of support expressing their disagreement with the ongoing actions of the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office and Livingston County CPS. Supporters also shared the Burns’ story with curious passers-by and several media outlets that were present. After the courtroom emptied, the entire group of Burns supporters peacefully walked to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office to deliver an open letter (pdf), signed by Josh Burns’ supporters, to head prosecutor, William Vailliencourt. Mr. Valliencourt was “unavailable” to receive the letter, but his assistant took the letter.
We remain ever steadfast in our prayers and support for Josh as he begins to serve his unjust and undeserved sentence. We will continue to support him as he faces his Parental Rights Termination Hearing in April and as he begins the appeals process after that. Our prayers and support are also with Brenda and Naomi as their unjust separation from their husband and father continues for the next year. Now, more than ever, the Burns need the continued spiritual, moral and financial support of their friends, family, community and country as they continue the fight against blatant tyranny and injustice and as they fight to reunite their family.
Josh and Brenda Burns prepared the following statement to share with their supporters:
To our supporters:
We want to thank you all for your love, prayers, and support to our family over the past year. This experience has truly been a nightmare. You have all come along side us and believed in us and helped us when we felt like giving up. We know that God will prevail over evil and that His plan is perfect. God has used so many as His hands and feet during this difficult time. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and love. We could not have made it this far without you. God bless you all.
Josh & Brenda Burns
We estimated that around 110 supporters came to stand for the Burns: