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human & civil rights | prisons & prisoners

Explanation of New Indictments on Eco-defendants

The following is a concise explanation of how the superceding indictments handed down on 1/20 have affected the cases of the 8 NW defendants... written by Civil Liberties Defense Center Exec. Dir. Lauren Regan. It is posted with the new trial date information at  http://www.cldc.org
This past week we saw all of the co-defendants be arraigned on the new federal indictment, US District Court of Oregon Case No. 06-60011-AA (the AA stands for Ann Aiken, the federal judge that has been assigned to the case).

This new indictment supercedes (or replaces) any or all preexisting indictments. All of the cases have been combined into this one "conspiracy" prosecution. The feds have dismissed all of the previous case filings. If a defendant was previously subpoenaed for a grand jury, the subpoena is null and void upon their indictment and they don't have to show up to testify in front of the grand jury.

The trial dates were set for October 31st through November, 2006. This is a first guess as to when a trial will occur. Between now and then defendants may be filing motions, severing defendants, or taking plea agreements that will negate the need for a trial (though any defendant could still be called as a witness by the feds or their co-defendants, and likely will be).

Last week we also saw a flurry of successful detention hearings where Kendall Tankersly (Sarah Harvey), Daniel McGowan, Suzanne Savoie, and Jonathan Paul were all released on strict conditions pending their trial dates. Congratulations to them and their hard working families and friends. However, two non-cooperating defendants still remain in custody. Chelsea Gerlach is still in custody because she is currently unable to raise the assets to satisfy the court's requirements for her release. She has a really outstanding attorney and firm working for her, but it will be difficult to secure her release at this point. Darren Thurston is also still in custody. Darren has an INS hold on him as a result of his Canadian citizenship. Even if the Court were to order him released pending his trial, INS would then detain him pending his conviction or acquittal. It is likely he will remain in custody pending trial. Make sure you visit the support sites set up for these two folks that are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers. These detention hearings were an ear-full--the informants have been busy providing the feds with additional detailed information that is often disclosed in small part during these hearings--of course the vast majority of confidential disclosures are not made public but it seems clear the feds are not done issuing arrest warrants and indictments. More fun to come.

hmmm...... 31.Jan.2006 23:02


are all the other defendants guilty in your eyes??? This is your statement "Make sure you visit the support sites set up for these two folks that are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers."

What about the rest? Where's your proof???

The others 01.Feb.2006 01:24


were released on bail.

nobody meant to say 01.Feb.2006 10:26


that the others were _not_ innocent until proven guilty, she just happened to be referring to two of them in particular.

tubbs and meyerhoff co-operating 01.Feb.2006 13:00


if it's not clear by now - meyerhoff and tubbs are co-operating informants for the prosecution at this point, as has been raised in the hearings over and over - i assume this is why lauren points out the need to support those detained who are *not* co-operating - darren and chelsea. people may not like the fact that prisoner support organizations are not supporting those who are informing - but this has clear precedence in political movements. individuals who read this site can support who they like, but our prisoner support movement needs to be clear on not supporting snitches for obvious reasons.

I'm sure they know all about their experiences 01.Feb.2006 16:39

But these people are facing something different

Lauren and Gumby may know about *their* experiences beating long sentences. That doesn't mean they know what these defendants are facing. They don't know what evidence the state has against them... only these defendants and their lawyers do. Every situation is different. It is sad to see that some people may be getting forced into cooperation. That doesn't make them bad people though. We don't know what they're faced with, what they might be saying or what they're thinking. I think this community is too quick to pass judgement, when you have very little information to base your judgements on. You just apply the snitch label liberally and shove them all into the same category.