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Hofland Postpones Opening Statement; Trial Begins 

The trial is now underway for a man accused of holding an elementary school classroom in Stockton Springs hostage on Halloween, two years ago.57-year-old Randall Hofland is representing himself in the trial.Hofland did not give his opening statements Friday afternoon. He said he did not feel like he had enough time to prepare and wanted to hear what the state had to say first. Hofland plans on addressing the jury when the state has rested its case.District Attorney Geoff Rushlau did give his opening remarks Friday. Ruslau informed the jury that police say Hofland pulled a gun on an officer during a routine traffic stop in October of 2008.That incident triggered a week long manhunt before Hofland went into Stockton Springs Elementary School on Halloween.Rushlau says Hofland held a number of students hostage before he surrendered. Hofland says most of what Rushlau said is not true.We asked Hofland if he did in fact have a gun during the traffic stop, he said yes, but it was in a case.We then asked him if he went into Stockton Springs Elementary School with a gun and he said he was not going to deny that.When asked if it was loaded, here’s what he said.Hofland : “My gun, if you pulled the trigger would not fire. That is not loaded.”Reporter: “Did you have ammunition?”Hofland: ” Definitely.”Reporter: “Why?”Hofland: ” Because that’s what I had. I had a standard set up.”Reporter: ” Were you planning on using it?”Hofland: “No”Reporter: ” Then why did you have it?”Hofland: ” Because that’s how I had the gun when I left my car. I took it with me. I carried it in the car. “Reporter: “Were you afraid something would happen at Stockton Springs Elementary School?”Hofland: “I was hoping not. I planned that it wouldn’t. Everything I did was to make sure nothing would happen.”Hofland tells us he was at the elementary school for a “higher purpose” but declined to say what the purpose was. He says it will come out in the trial.Hofland also says he hopes the children that were in Stockton Springs Elementary School would not say they felt as though they were threatened, he says he did not want to scare them.He also says this is all part of a conspiracy and that he is on a government watch list.The trial will continue Monday morning, we’re told it could last several weeks.