January 28 Alert Part 1 (Case Updates)
Legal Info and Court Reportbacks
Sacramento Prisoner Support
1) DETENTION HEARINGS
4) BAIL GRANTED/DENIED
5) CS IDENTIFIED
1) DETENTION HEARINGS-
FRIDAY, January 20th - Lauren Weiner's detention hearing: FBI agent Nasson Walker and an 'expert witness' named Bruce Naliboff testified to the dangerousness and instability of the three. After much cross examination on the part of Lauren's attorney Jeffrey Weiner, it was discovered that:
- The FBI paid the CS approximately $75,000 over 2 years for her involvement in "twelve anarchist cases", in addition to all of her expenses.
- The FBI also paid for materials to make the alleged explosives.
- The FBI paid for the cabin (which they installed video and audio surveillance in) near Auburn where the trio stayed at the request of the CS.
- The FBI paid for the laptop computer that they later seized during the raid of the house.
- Additionally, the CS 'stomped out of the house' the day before the arrest because 'nothing was happening' and she was becoming impatient.
- The CS apparently also authored part of the 'burn book' which was confiscated during the arrests.
Magistrate Judge Hollows decided to wait until the end of the next week to make a decision; he wanted to wait until he could hear arguments from the lawyers of Lauren's codefendants. The 'expert witness' attempted to link "prisoner support" with the Earth Liberation Front, alleging that the ELF would provide material support for her to flee if she were released on bail. US Attorney Ellen Endrizzi stated that the prisoners had been visited by 'the movement's prisoner support'. Although Naliboff claimed there is a history of accused members of the ALF/ELF going on the run, he was unable to cite an instance where a person accused of taking part in an ALF/ELF action has ever jumped bail.
Such attempts to malign prisoner support and link it with criminal activity have increasingly become a feature of these sorts of proceedings; the government's strategy is to prevent prisoners from getting bail and cause prisoners and their families to fear contact with prisoner support groups. We at Sacramento Prisoner Support feel that the government takes these steps because they know prisoner support can be successful in defending the rights of prisoners and their families and keeping them from becoming isolated. Our work is legal and transparent, and we will not be deterred by the government's slander. We will continue to provide support for prisoners who request it.
TUESDAY, January 24 - Zachary and Eric's detention hearing: Zachary's attorney Lexi Negin and Eric's attorney Mark Reichel argued that their clients have no criminal history and that the majority of the evidence put forth so far was unreliable because it was essentially hearsay. They also brought to light the fact that case agent Walker [ having been an FBI agent for under two years and a financial analyst previously ] was unaware of vital information pertaining to the case, such as why the trio was arrested on January 13th. The lawyers were also able to demonstrate that the CS is an unreliable source with no FBI training.
Myspace and LiveJournal were both cited extensively. Obviously fictional entries on Zachary's Myspace page were entered as evidence and his profile was cited to prove that he was dangerous, having listed one of his occupations as "assassin". US Attorney Ellen Endrizzi also cited one of his hobbies as 'ninja training' in an attempt to further her case against him. Case agent Nasson Walker testified under oath that he himself is familiar with Myspace and he has actually created his own account. The US Attorney at one point tried to enter one of Zachary's blog entries on a dream as evidence. Judge Hollows would not allow the government to support their case for detention with the defendant's dreams.
Both lawyers stressed the strong family ties and support of their loved ones, and that the families were willing to "replicate jail" in their own homes. Zachary Jenson's family has no property to put up and can afford very little in terms of bail. It was requested that a $10,000 bond be accepted (which is devastatingly large for the Jenson family) to secure his release.
The problems with the treatment of the prisoners in jail also came up several times throughout the hearing, but Magistrate Judge Hollows refused to take any action on these matters. He was particularly hostile to Mark Reichel's plea for vegan food for his client Eric McDavid. Judge Hollows stated that the Sacramento County Jail was "not a culinary institute", that inmates must eat what they are given and cannot demand their dietary needs be met. Hollows also compared veganism to the South Beach Diet, ignoring the moral and ethical tenets often held by vegans. Mark Reichel countered that there are precedents from case law that ensure that prisoners receive meals they can eat. Judge Hollows refused to assist in pressuring the jail to accommodate their diets. Again, Judge Hollows chose to issue a ruling in writing by the end of the week.
2) INDICTMENT January 25 -
The grand jury rubber stamped the charges [ violation of USC18-844N ]. Contrary to the government's media campaign against the defendants, the indictment makes no mention the ELF and does not seek a terrorist enhancement. It remains to be seen if the US Attorney will seek the enhancement.
3) ARRAIGNMENT January 26 -
During this brief hearing, all three pled not guilty to the charge of conspiracy to damage property by means of fire/explosives. A status hearing has been set for February 14 at 8:30am in front of Judge England.
4) BAIL GRANTED/DENIED January 26 -
Lauren Weiner was granted bail! Her family has put up 1.2 million in property to ensure that she meets the conditions of her bail. She is confined to 2 counties in New York where she lives and works, her lawyer's office in Florida, and the federal court in Sacramento. Her codefendants, Zachary Jenson and Eric McDavid, were not so lucky and were denied bail. Mark Reichel has vowed to appeal the decision and is determined to get Eric out as soon as possible. In the mean time he is working diligently to get his client fair treatment inside the jail including showers, meals he can eat, and opportunities to exercise. Please politely but firmly continue to request the same of the jail.
5) CS IDENTIFIED -
The "CS" or confidential source has been identified by (ex)friends and acquaintances. Her whereabouts and actions are described extensively throughout legal documents relating to this case. The article and photos can be viewed at:
If anyone has ever met the CS please get in contact with us ASAP. Information on the CS can have a HUGE impact on the case. She apparently went by several names including (but not necessarily limited to) "ANNA", "ANNA ADDISON", and her legal name is believed to be ANNA DAVIES.
She attended the Bio-Democracy Protests in Philadelphia in 2005, the CrimethInc. convergences in Des Moines and Bloomington, Pointless Fest 2005 in Philadelphia, the OAS protests in Florida, the G8 Protest in Georgia, and Feral Visions 2005 in North Carolina. She attempted to join the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, and attended at least one meeting prior to the Democratic National Convention in Boston. She was also in the Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area in late 2005.
The 12 cases she has been involved in are stated to include "single events such as protests/gatherings" and pending investigations. If you have met with or have information on "Anna" please contact us immediately so we can put you in touch with the defendants' attorneys.