Earlier this week, William "Billy" Cottrell testified that he had been
present at the scene of an Earth Liberation Front action. He admitted to
painting ELF slogans and to causing criminal damage. However he then went
onto say that he did not start any fires and named two people, Tyler Johnson
and Michie Oe, who he claims were responsible for the fires.
It should be noted that, as has been proven time and time again, you can not
trust the word of a police informant, as they will happily name innocent
people to get themselves off the hook and no charges have ever been bought
against Tyler or Michie, although the FBI have now named them as "fugitive
A full report on Cottrell's trial will appear in the next issue of "Spirit
of Freedom (January 2005)" and ELP will be putting out a joint statement
with the former "Free Billy Support Network" in the next few days, after
Cottrell has been sentenced. (The "Free Billy Support Network" has been
dissolved because of Cottrell's decision to blame others).
However as of now Cottrell is regarded as a police informant and will
receive no more support from ELP.
ELP would like to apologise to all those who have supported Cottrell and we
would remind everyone that although Cottrell has turned traitor there are
many other good prisoners who need our support and we hope this will not put
you off supporting them.
For a full up-to-date list of eco-prisoners please e-mail
Jury deliberations begin in SUV arsons
>By Gene Maddaus , Staff Writer
>LOS ANGELES -- - Jurors began deliberating Thursday in the so-called
>ecoterrorism trial of Caltech graduate student Billy Cottrell, after
>listening to a prosecutor argue that Cottrell torched SUVs out of
>"arrogance and towering superiority.'
>In his closing argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Riordan called
>Cottrell's testimony "a fictional account,' which was enough evidence by
>itself to warrant a conviction.
>Cottrell, 24, faces 35 years to life in prison if convicted on all nine
>In two hours of testimony Wednesday, Cottrell blamed fugitives Tyler
>Johnson and Michie Oe for setting fire to sport utility vehicles in
>Monrovia and West Covina in August 2003.
>Cottrell admitted to spray-painting Earth Liberation Front slogans on SUVs
>during the same spree, but said he was unaware that Johnson and Oe intended
>to throw Molotov cocktails.
>The fires caused about $2.5 million in damage.
>"He didn't throw. He didn't know,' said defense attorney Michael Mayock, in
>his closing argument. "There is no evidence zero that Billy ever threw a
>Molotov cocktail. ... He should be set free.'
>Riordan argued Cottrell's testimony conveniently abdicated all
>responsibility for the crimes to Johnson and Oe, even to the point of
>claiming that Oe was driving Cottrell's car.
>"Mr. Cottrell tried to rewrite history. He attempted to airbrush himself
>out,' Riordan said. "He's gonna drive his own car. If he's driving his own
>car, he's in it to win it. He would have told you he was riding in the
>trunk if he thought you would buy it.'
>The defense pointed out that Cottrell was universally regarded as a
>terrible driver, and said that was the reason he wasn't behind the wheel.
>Riordan characterized Cottrell's testimony as "twisted, unreasonable and
>preposterous,' and called a portion of it "dog-ate- my-homework stuff.'
>Riordan also pointed to e-mails sent to friends and anonymously to the Los
>Angeles Times that seemed to show him bragging about the attacks or
>reveling in the attention they generated.
>The defense has claimed Johnson wrote the more brazen e- mails.
>Riordan claimed Cottrell was on an "adventure high' the night of the
>attacks, and alleged that the political message was secondary to
>"He has a hostility toward anyone with different views,' Riordan said.
>"It's a dripping hostility, it's powerful sarcasm, it's a passionate
>Mayock said the prosecution's argument was based on "histrionics,' not
>evidence. He asked the jury to think twice before condemning someone who
>could "potentially be a Nobel Prize winner.'
>"With all due respect,' Riordan retorted, "Mr. Cottrell may be a genius at
>math, but does not make him a genius.'
>Riordan pointed to several mistakes Cottrell allegedly made in carrying out
>the crime, including leaving his DNA at the scene, telling friends about
>the incident, and sending the anonymous e-mails to the Los Angeles Times,
>which eventually were traced back to him and led to his arrest.
>"The biggest mistake was taking the stand and telling that story,' Riordan