portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article reporting oregon & cascadia

human & civil rights | police / legal

Chelsea Gerlach Preliminary Hearing Notes

Just got back from the preliminary hearing for Chelsea Gerlach related to charges from 2 incidents : The Bonneville Tower in Bend, OR and arson at Childers Meat Co, both in 1999.

This was not an arraignment, as Chelsea has already plead not guilty on all charges at an arraignment last week (and since the charges weren't read today, I don't know what they are). This hearing dealt with her detention pending trial.

Chelsea's Federal public defender (I'm sorry I didn't get his name) cross-examined a federal agent, Paul Caldwell (agency unknown), based on a sworn affadavit previously submitted to the court. Caldwell testified that a confidential informant (referred to as CS1) had admitted to involvement at the Childer's Meat Company arson, and stated that someone going as "Country Girl" had acted as lookout with a handheld radio. Defense counsel asked Caldwell, "Has the Government made any promises to CS1 in exchange for info?" Caldwell replied that he was "not aware of the specifics". read more >>

A statement from the family of Chelsea Gerlach

A statement of love and support from the family of Chelsea Gerlach, a wrongly accused suspect of eco-vandalism.
In these normally joyous days before Christmas, our family has been gripped by the loss of our sister and daughter who has been suddenly and wrongfully incarcerated. We are both disturbed and baffled by the charges brought against her, as well as by the images presented in the press of a radical Chelsea Gerlach hardened by crime and malfeasance. The person we know and love is incapable of such acts and we have absolutely no reason to believe in her criminal involvement in these cases.

Though we have been kept in the dark by a legal system that tells us little about the status of our beloved sister and daughter, we have the utmost confidence that the federal courts will vindicate Chelsea and that these ludicrous charges will be dropped. read more >>