Home1st AmendmentFrom Defender to Defendant: My Voluntary Surrender for Protecting My Daughters’ Innocence

From Defender to Defendant: My Voluntary Surrender for Protecting My Daughters’ Innocence

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I want to be the first to inform you that today, I am turning myself in on a felony warrant pushed by Karen Colby and State Representative Randy Fine.

These two individuals have targeted my family and me ever since I founded The Space Coast Rocket and dared to criticize Fine’s motives and politics. For years, Colby and Fine have used social media to label me a convicted felon, rapist, and child abuser, and claimed that I had my gun rights revoked. None of these allegations are true. They’ve been debunked in numerous interviews and reports.

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In reality, I am an honorably retired, highly decorated, and 100% disabled combat-wounded Army Veteran who has dedicated most of his life to defending this country. As part of my military service, I served as a trauma and pediatric nurse, witnessing the most vulnerable in the most tragic of circumstances. In combat, I saw unspeakable acts committed against countless children. I cannot tolerate threats against any child.

On Thursday, August 10, 2023, my two daughters began their first day at a new elementary school. I shared the customary first-day photo of my two beautiful girls on social media. That same day, Karen Colby posted a comment on Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey’s official Facebook page, insinuating that I allow my children to be sexually assaulted. Mayor Alfrey, who is dating my ex-wife and spends considerable time with my daughters, promptly informed me of this due to his concerns for their well-being.

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Upon receiving the message, I was in the area of Melbourne Mall, where Colby works. I confronted her, strongly urging her to keep my children out of her and Fine’s attacks. Her comments posed a risk of psychological and emotional trauma to my daughters, who have access to social media. In a world where children’s innocence is increasingly at risk, my fatherly instincts to protect my children took over. Such vile accusations, especially in our digital age, can leave lasting scars. My daughters, like all children, deserve a childhood free from slander and fear. Defending their dignity and safeguarding their emotional well-being is not just a choice; it’s a duty.

Colby called 911, alleging that I “probably had a gun” and claimed I was attacking her, even though I never laid a hand on her. Anticipating her exaggerations and falsehoods, I recorded the entire incident for my protection. I uploaded the video to YouTube privately and refrained from making it public. However, Randy Fine obtained the video, shared it publicly with false commentary, and restricted comments to only his followers in an attempt to control the narrative. As you will see from the private text messages between Fine and a once ally of his, Janice Crisp, his malicious motives and actions are clear.

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(A snippet of the text messages between Fine and Janice Crisp. The entire conversation is at the end of this article)

Karen Colby often acts on Randy Fine’s behalf. She volunteered for his campaign and serves as his dedicated social media proxy. Ever since I, as the founder of The Space Coast Rocket, highlighted Fine’s propensity to abuse his office and position, she has consistently berated me — at restaurants, public meetings, and online. It is an ongoing campaign to suppress my 1st Amendment rights and discredit my reporting.

I’ve attempted to curb their incessant behavior with cease-and-desist letters, harassment complaints, and police reports. As anticipated, Fine relished the opportunity Colby’s post provided to further target me.

Colby sought an injunction regarding this incident. The court found no immediate threat, denied her request, and scheduled a hearing for a later date. However, when my attorney began probing deeper, listing witnesses, and indicating that we’d be seeking attorney’s fees, Colby immediately withdrew her petition.

It’s disheartening that the Office of the State Attorney has chosen to press charges. They’ve accused me of Tampering with a Witness (despite the video showing I encouraged Colby to contact the police and didn’t interfere with her 911 call), Trespassing (even though AVIS is publicly accessible), and Battery (despite Colby repeatedly admitting to the 911 operator that I never touched her).

Dispatch notes from the 911 call emphasizing “no physical touch”

I don’t intend to comment further on this matter, following my attorney’s advice. I will cooperate fully with the authorities and the courts. However, rest assured, I will vehemently contest these baseless charges. Both the U.S. and Florida constitutions enshrine the rights to press and free speech, rights I’ve sacrificed greatly to defend. Nothing will deter me from exposing corruption and officials who believe they’re beyond reproach and, in this instance, above the law. We must, as a community, stand against the weaponization of innocence. Today it’s my children; tomorrow if gone unchecked, it could be any child.

Robert W. Burns, III, Founder, The Space Coast Rocket.

(For questions, please contact my attorney: Jessica J. Travis, DefendBrevard.com, 321-728-7280.)

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