Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin arrested - Albuquerque Journal

Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin arrested

In this March 12, 2019, file photo, Otero County Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin denounces gun control and pro-abortion rights bills in the New Mexico State Legislature at a protest outside the Statehouse in Santa Fe. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, File)

Couy Griffin, a former Otero County commissioner who was ousted after being convicted for his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, was arrested last week on harassment and trespassing charges in connection with a dispute between Griffin and a man who was staying at a residence owned by Griffin’s family.

Parts of the dispute between Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, and Dewayne Braithwaite were filmed and posted online by Braithwaite. He had moved from Maryland to Dusty Lane in Otero County, where he and Griffin had agreed that Braithwaite would make renovations in exchange for room and board, according to a criminal complaint filed in Otero County Magistrate Court.

Video footage of a five-minute fight between he, Griffin and another man was posted to TikTok.

Griffin didn’t comment when reached on Tuesday.

According to the most recent complaint, Braithwaite had been staying at the residence in Otero County. His relationship with Griffin deteriorated and Griffin tried to evict Braithwaite from the property.

Otero County deputies responded to the home in late April and told Griffin the proper procedure for evicting Braithwaite. A deputy told Griffin not to otherwise enter the property, according to the complaint.

The complaint says that Griffin twice entered the residence on May 18 and on May 19.

A video posted to TikTok shows Griffin yelling at a man who appears to be Braithwaite for about five minutes. Another man with Griffin can be seen in the video looking through Braithwaite’s belongings.

At one point in the video Griffin calls Braithwaite a “free-loading loser.”

“I am the legal tenant here. Please leave, please leave,” Braithwaite says to Griffin.

Griffin is charged with three counts of criminal trespass and two counts of harassment. He was arraigned Monday and pleaded not guilty, according to a state court website.

“The above stated pattern of conduct against Mr. Braithwaite was intended to annoy, alarm or terrorize him and it served no lawful purpose,” the complaint states.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday if Griffin’s recent arrest will affect his supervised release stemming from charges related to Jan. 6, 2021.

In December 2022, Griffin was convicted of a misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted area for his actions at Capitol.

Griffin didn’t enter the building, but he was found guilty of climbing onto a restricted deck area outside the Capitol, where he used a blow horn to lead the rioters in prayer.

He was sentenced to time served and one year of supervised release.

As part of his conditions of release, Griffin must follow his probation officer’s instructions and must tell the officers within 72 hours if he is arrested or questioned by police.

After that conviction, lawyers from around the country teamed up to file a civil case against Griffin seeking to remove him from his Otero County Commission seat, claiming Griffin violated a Civil War-era clause in the 14th Amendment that prohibits officeholders sworn to uphold the Constitution from engaging in an “insurrection” against the U.S. government.

Griffin was found guilty during a trial and he lost his seat

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