Millie Weaver is a conservative filmmaker who was arrested at her home in northeastern Ohio hours before she was scheduled to debut her new documentary called Shadow Gate on YouTube. Weaver claimed she had uncovered a plot, orchestrated by both major political parties, against President Donald Trump and that the documentary would explain how it all worked.
The timing of her arrest flamed conspiracy theories online, with critics wondering whether the arrest was related to the Shadow Gate documentary. Heavy confirmed with the Portage County Jail that Weaver, along with her significant other, Gavin Wince, were both arrested on August 14 on felony charges including robbery and domestic violence. The indictment was made available online on August 17 and shows the arrest was connected to a dispute Weaver had with her mother, Felicia McCarron, back in April. Read more about those updates here.
According to the criminal complaint, which Heavy obtained from the county prosecutor, McCarron told deputies that Weaver, her son Charles, and Wince had thrown her to the ground in order to get her cellphone away from her. She claimed the three had been “mean” to her and she had been trying to record their behavior when they decided to take the device. McCarron said she ran out of the house and used a neighbor’s phone to call 911.
In an interview with deputies, Weaver insisted McCarron had misplaced her phone two days prior to the incident and was upset about it. She described her mother as “mentally ill and not reliable.” The report adds that McCarron had been living at the Portage County home after her place of employment in California shut down to the coronavirus.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Millie Weaver & Gavin Wince Are Both Facing Felony Charges in Ohio
Millicent Weaver and Gavin Wince were both arrested by the Portage County Sheriff’s Office on August 14. Inmate records show they were booked into the Portage County Jail around 1:50 a.m. According to the court document, the warrant for Weaver’s arrest was issued on July 20 but deputies waited 25 days to execute it.
Heavy confirmed with the Portage County Jail, over the phone, that Weaver and Wince are both facing four charges:
- Robbery: 2nd degree felony
- Tampering with evidence: 3rd degree felony
- Obstructing justice: 5th degree felony
- Domestic violence: 1st degree misdemeanor
The Portage County Jail official Heavy spoke with referred to Weaver’s partner as her husband. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, in a separate report, described Wince as Weaver’s boyfriend. Heavy has not independently verified whether the couple is married.
Weaver was held over the weekend without a bond. She faced a judge on August 17 and entered a “not guilty” plea, according to court documents. Weaver was released at 2:25 p.m. on a personal recognizance bond of $20,000. The PR bond means she didn’t have to pay money to be released from custody but would owe the cost if she failed to appear at future court hearings.
2. A Video of Weaver Questioning Why She Was Under Arrest Has Spread Online
Weaver live-streamed the August 14 arrest on her official Facebook page. Author Mike Dice, who wrote a 2019 book called The Liberal Media Industrial Complex, shared the video on Twitter and the clip has been viewed more than 1 million times.
In the clip, Weaver is recording the interaction with a sheriff’s deputy with her phone pointing at the ground. She asks, “You’re saying a grand jury indicted me? For what?” The deputy asks Weaver to get her shoes and that paperwork would be waiting for them at the jail. Weaver cooperates as one of her children can be heard making noises off-camera.
As Weaver walks into her home, she directs her comments to viewers. “Guys, I don’t know what’s happening right now. The police have just shown up at my house and they said that they’re arresting me. They said that a grand jury indicted me for something. I have no idea what. This is crazy.”
Weaver then asks why she wasn’t sent anything in the mail or given advance notice before repeating her assertion that she has no idea what the arrest is about. As she walks back outside, Weaver says to the camera, “Guys, I’m literally about to break huge breaking news right now. I’m being arrested and I have no idea why.” Someone is then heard off-camera telling Weaver she was being charged for burglary. She appeared surprised as she responded, “Burglary? For what?”
Weaver then turns her phone toward her two children, who were on the porch with another woman. Her young son is crying as the deputies tell her to move toward the vehicle. The deputy says, “Come on, let’s go to the car. I’ve been more than nice.” Weaver says again that she has “no idea what’s happening right now.” The video ends after Weaver asks viewers to “please share this.”
Since her arrest, a GoFundMe campaign was launched on Weaver’s behalf to help pay for her legal defense. As of this writing, thousands of donors had given more than $108,000.
3. In Ohio, a ‘Secret Indictment’ Simply Means the Indictment is Sealed Until After the Accused Has Been Arrested
One of the details about Millie Weaver’s arrest that has sparked intrigue online was that she was arrested on a secret indictment. This is a standard procedure under Ohio law. The legal code explains that “secret indictments shall not be docketed by name until after the apprehension of the accused.”
Here’s the process: Once a grand jury has decided that charges should be filed, a prosecutor moves forward with the case and a warrant for arrest is formally issued. The indictment is typically kept sealed, aka secret, until after the accused has been arrested.
Details about the indictment are typically made public once the accused appears before a judge, as the Portage County Jail official explained to Heavy over the phone. Weaver’s case began in municipal court and has been transferred to the Common Pleas Court, the jail official explained.
4. Weaver Claimed to Uncover Knowledge of a Coup Against President Trump
Weaver had described Shadow Gate as the “biggest whistleblowing event ever” on her website. Weaver claimed in a trailer ahead of the film’s release that she had spoken with two people with knowledge of a secret organization of “contractors.” She claimed the contractors were “hired by government officials to frame the Trump campaign, set him up for the Russia collusion investigation, provided witnesses for the impeachment hearings and provided administrative support services to the Department of Justice during the Mueller investigation.”
Weaver also claimed these “contractors” were responsible for creating the “fake news in mainstream media.” She alleged that the “shadow government” was responsible for spurring the recent nationwide protests and promoting the “defund the police” movement.
Weaver goes on to accuse Republicans and Democrats of working together in a plot to bring down President Trump. “Both parties are equally guilty of covering up what should turn out to be an even bigger scandal. Shadow Gate: the tactical and operational role the shadow government played behind the scenes carrying out the coup against President Trump. We’re going to be looking behind the puppets at who the real puppet master, string-pullers are.”
The film was shared to YouTube after Weaver’s arrest. But as of August 16, the documentary had been “removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.”
5. Weaver Contributes to Infowars & Host Alex Jones Dismissed a Conspiracy Theory That Weaver’s Arrest Was Staged
Weaver was named by Newsmax as one of the “30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30” in 2017. The site described her as a “former model” who “made a name for herself as a political activist, reporter, and satirist.”
Newsmax noted that Weaver was “most known for her contributions to Infowars.com and the videos on her YouTube channel.” Her channel, which includes videos promoting theories about a corrupt “deep state” and claims that riots in Minneapolis were preplanned by a “leftist radicalization” group, currently has more than 400,000 subscribers.
Weaver has visited the White House at least twice. She shared on Instagram in January that White House staff had invited her to tour the West Wing. She wrote in part, “I’m glad to see that my hard work is recognized and appreciated! We truly have the greatest country and the greatest President! #Trump2020.” Weaver posted about another visit on March 7, writing, “It was nice to be back at The White House. Big things coming! Stay tuned.”
Weaver is a contributor to Infowars and the site describes her as one of its reporters. Infowars host Alex Jones said in a video statement that he had known Weaver for at least eight years and described her as a “good Christian lady.” He added that Weaver contributed to Infowars as a freelancer. Jones disputed an online conspiracy theory that claimed the arrest was “staged” in order to promote her Shadow Gate film.