SUNBURY — A Northumberland County Judge will issue a ruling within 30 days on whether Harrisburg political activist Gene Stilp is guilty of breaking a Sunbury code ordinance after he burned a President Donald Trump re-election flag in September.

Stilp was found guilty by Sunbury District Judge Mike Toomey in October after Stilp didn't show up for the hearing. He was ordered to pay a $292 fine.

Stilp appealed the ruling and appeared before Judge Paige Rosini on Friday with his attorney, Joel Ready, of Blandon.

Stilp testified he was exercising his freedom of speech and he had no idea the city had an ordinance that said he could not burn in public.

Sunbury ordinance states no one can burn in public. 

Ready said Stilp informed county officials he was coming and that no one told him he couldn't.

Sunbury Police Chief Brad Hare testified he warned Stilp before he lit the fire that he would be fined, but Stilp went ahead and burned the flag anyway.

Rosini listened to the testimony then asked Ready and Northumberland County Assistant District Attorney Richard Aime to submit briefs within 10 days before she makes a ruling.

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