Man facing felony after clash at city council meeting

MARFA — A Marfa man is facing a felony charge after he disrupted a city council meeting last year.

Marfa resident Michael Calvert, 66, has been charged with making a terroristic threat after he allegedly threatened to shoot Marfa city councilmembers, according to his January 31 indictment.

The indictment states that Calvert allegedly intended to “place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of a serious bodily injury.” Calvert turned himself in on a $2,500 PR (personal recognizance) bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay the sum to secure his release.

The charges stem from an animal ordinance workshop at the Marfa City Council in July. During the meeting, Calvert told the council that he would “kill every one of you.”

At the time, reactions from council members ranged from shock to laughter. Marfa Police Chief Steve Marquez, who was present at the meeting, asked Mayor Manny Baeza if Baeza wanted him to do something, but Baeza decided to continue the meeting.

Calvert expressed regret for his remarks, which he said he made because it seemed like city council “didn’t even want to listen” to public comments.

“Right after I said it, I thought, ‘You idiot, you’re not going to shoot nobody,’” he said last year. “If they need an apology, I’ll give it in writing, or whatever they need.”

Marfa Police Chief Steve Marquez, though, said that the comments were nonetheless unacceptable.

“Whether he was joking around or not, it’s not appropriate at an official meeting,” he previously told The Big Bend Sentinel. “He kept mentioning shooting people through the whole meeting. It was very disturbing for him to say that to our leaders.”

After the meeting, some city staff and council members decided to give statements to Marfa police. The Marfa Police Department and the Presidio County district attorney’s office declined to release more information on those statements or who gave them, citing the ongoing case.

Liz Rogers, an Alpine-based lawyer, is representing Calvert. In a phone interview on Friday, Rogers said she was “very saddened” by the indictment and looked forward to representing him in court.

“Everybody who knows [Calvert] and his wife knows that they’re fine citizens of Marfa,” Rogers said. “He apologized immediately, and he’s very ill. He’s taking all sorts of medications.”

Calvert does not have any prior charges in Presidio County, according to court records.