'John Doe' and Alyosha Witness appeared in Jackson County Court today on charges stemming from Saturday's flag burning at an anti-war rally in the Ashland Plaza. The two men are each charged with 2 counts of Reckless Endangerment and 1 count of Disorderly Conduct.
The charges of Reckless Endangerment each carry fines of $5000 and/or 1 year in jail. The charges of Disorderly Conduct carry fines of $2000 and/or 6 months in jail.
The charges of Reckless Endangerment stem from allegations that an unnamed woman and child were "willfully and maliciously endangered" by the actions of the defendents.
Paula and Noah Sohl were present in the courtroom and gave a statement to the press about their experience on Saturday. They claim to be the "unnamed woman and child" present at the protest, as they were sitting in the bench near the flag burners. Mrs. Sohl said the individuals went to, "an empty space on the plaza to burn the flag." She said the act was "done carefully" and with respect.
"It was a sober moment, to see the strength of their feelings," said Mrs. Sohl. She and her son "were not in any danger" as the flag was "burning out on the ground." She added that she is "happy that this is a country where we can burn the flag," and that it was done because the individuals "don't believe the government is supporting the views of the public regarding the invasion of Iraq."
'John Doe' has refused to cooperate with the booking process, and is therefore being denied access to a phone. He will not be appointed an attorney until he gives his name and finger prints.
Both individuals are scheduled for pre-trial hearings on April 28 at 1:30 pm. They are being held in Jackson County Jail on $25,000 bail.