'Moorish National'

Man Claims Sovereignty Over Bethesda Mansion

Tracy A. Woodward/Getty,Tracy A. Woodward

An exterior view of the six million dollar mansion in Bethesda involved in a burglary case in Montgomery County on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

A man in Maryland is definitely a contender for Weirdest Defense Strategy of the Year -- or possibly the century. Lamont Butler stood accused of burglary after he broke into an unoccupied Bethesda mansion earlier this year and claimed it as his own. His reasoning? As he said defending himself in court, he is a "Moorish American National" with American ancestral ties dating to before the country's founding. As a result, he claimed, North America is still part of a giant Moroccan empire, giving him sovereignty over large amounts of land. But don't go scrambling to your genealogy charts just yet: the defense didn't fly, and a jury found Butler guilty of five crimes on Friday.