portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

green scare

Briana Waters Trial notes Monday Feb. 25th 9 AM till 2pm

Summary Notes from the morning and a little of the afternoon of Monday. (not comprehensive)
Tomorrow, (Wednesday) should be a very interesting day. Briana may testify this afternoon, and all are encouraged to show up to support her. The trial is drawing to a close, and the next couple days are very important. Thanks
Yesterday morning began with the finish of the cross examination of Special Agent Halla by Mr. Fox. Halla confirmed that Jen Kolar had said on their trip to Olympia that she never remembered Briaana and Lacey together. He then interpreted this to mean that as he understood it, Kolar didn't recall Briana and Lacey "being close friends" . Fox brought up that the tape with which Jen Kolar (JK) had recorded their conversation for her lawyer could be useful in determining exactly what was said.

Then they talked about the phone number that JK called twice right after being contacted by FBI agent Quimby. It was determined, through a stipulation, that the number she called was not "Planet Hemp" During her testimony, Kolar explained calling "Planet Hemp" because she was going to buy shoes, (" I was just trying to keep my head together"). In fact, the Google listing for that number was wrong, and it was shown that in 2005 the number belonged to HLS International Tours, a travel agent.

They talked about Joe Dibee's first mtg with the US Attorney, where they told him details they thought they knew, in order to show him they were not bluffing and to elicite his cooperation. After he left his movements were not tracked.

It was also shown how there was no surveillance on Lacey Phillabaum, no listening devices or wiretaps to see who she was talking to. Agent Halla said that wiretaps were not actually used very much, that they were hard to get.
Was he aware that Stan Meyerhoff and Lacey (LP) talked on the phone after Stan's arrest on Dec. 7th? Probably, don't know for sure.

Agent Halla's 302 of the Feb. 21st interview of Lacey Phillabaum says that Lacey said "slept in the bus that night" referring to Saturday night. Also states that "B.W. and Justin Solondz had just broken up" Agent Halla cannot or will not remember the context of how she meant "slept in the bus that night".

Agent Halla went in front of the Grand Jury on march 16th to indict Briana Waters, but it was never mentioned how JK "remembered" her.
Halla also testified that in the course of this investigation no wiretaps were used.

There is a forensic lab the FBI operates that can test a car for metallurgical damage, such as after any minor accident, but Halla said they had determined that it was not important.

Then they talked about the raid of Justin Solondz's cabin. (in 2007?) An exhibit photo was shown that showed a variety of anarchist literature displayed (with Anarchy magazine on top) . Halla admitted that the literature was arranged for display and photos by the FBI, and had not been found that way in the cabin. He also acknowledged there was a lot of other material in the cabin, and Fox offered as evidence a copy of the Iliad, by Homer, and an article entitled Fate of the Earth by a Dominican nun.
D: So you took out anarchist materials and showed them to the jury!
H: We showed what we thought was relevant.
D: So you didn't think anything non-Anarchist was relevant.

A group house at 135 Percival St. was brought up, and how it was investigated that there were calls to that phone both from Madelene Waters, and also Bill Rogers. Halla explained that they knew the phone was in the name of Theresa Howell, and there were 4-6 people living there.

Halla testified they had had difficulties finding Briana Waters, but then Fox called him on it, that she was living under her own name, and had Halla compare it to Bill Rogers, who was "very difficult to find" and took a little over a year, compared to 1 month for Briana.

It was determined that in the search of Bill Rogers' home, only one mention appears anywhere of Briana, and that is a reference in an academic article to her film.

Finally, they went over the time required to get from Olympia to the Center for Urban Horticulture, to stash the bags of fuel as LP testified, and then to drive to the Greenlake Bar and Grill. Determined it could take 2- 2.5 hours. Then Fox brought up Briana's credit card statement, and that it recorded a purchase at Ralph's Thriftway on the 20th, but with no exact time given. Halla explained he had tried to get the exact time from Ralph's through their records, but their system had changed and the data tape he was given had been corrupt. Fox then produced a register record that showed a purchase for the same amount at 7:12 pm on the 20th. Halla: I am a little perturbed I didn't find these records...

Then, the Prosecution rested, and the Defense made a motion to dismiss the case based on lack of evidence. First, to dismiss the conspiracy count because the gov't failed to prove any part of the conspiracy alleged, and second, to dismiss the other charges due to lack of evidence, and also due to the tainting of the jury. Specifically, exhibits 402 and 612, the anarchist articles where Bartlett picked out and highlighted sections presented such prejudice, and their inflammatory nature was so great that there was no recourse but to dismiss. Of course this judge refused to consider anything differently once he had ruled on it, and the day moved into the Defense's first witness, Special Agent Torres from the FBI. Not much of substance came out before lunch, and his testimony can be found in the next post.

After lunch, the defense brought 2 witnesses out of turn. First was Haila Silvertrees, Ocean's mom. She first met Briana when she was staying in Olympia at a hotel, and Briana offered her room when she was going out of town for a couple days. She then explained how they bought the house in beginning of April of 2001, and that it wasn't livable for a long time while it was being renovated. There was no running water in the back building. Ocean moved in in the summer of '01, so if someone had seen him there, it would have to have been in the Summer or later.

Next to be called was Lavern Troxel, a retired airline stewardess who now lives on a farm in Randle, WA and raises horses.
She tells the jury about the terrible history of Plum Creek Timber in Randle, with major landslides that trapped the town for a long time. Talks about Watch Mt. that sits above Randle. How Sierra Club was approached for land swap between the Forest Service and Plum Creek, and then Slade Gorton put a rider onto an omnibus bill to speed it along. "We heard nothing of it in the town, b/c it was legislated and our voices were never heard, but young people (from TESC) came and told us what was going on." Young people put up tree platforms, remember: Randle is a logging town and "treehuggers" are an endangered species. Young people were so respectful that town did total about face... its almost unheard of for there to be agreement between treehuggers and townspeople. Logging would have caused landslide, soil experts testified to this. You had loggers and treehuggers sitting around the campfire together.. So successful b/c these treehuggers were so respectful and helpful to town. Briana was filming documentary at the time. Very diplomatic and helpful... no violence in this thing. Young people so diplomatic I can't believe that someone like this would do an about face and do something so out of character. I think I'm a very good judge of character and it just doesn't follow.
D: What was the outcome?
L: Watch Mt. is still forest service land, we still have our trees.

P (Bartlett): Good morning . Do you recognize this man? (William Rogers)
L: Don't think so.
P: His resume listed himself as a consultant.
L: There were some people who were just passing through...
P: Are you aware that Briana was interviewed by the NYT? By Robert Sullivan. At the end of a talk w/ Craig Rosebraugh, Ms. Waters was interviewed (reads portion) in 1998 talk was sponsored by EARN. I asked members if they support mink releases and arsons, and Briana said "as long as people don't get hurt"
L: The sentence is unclear whether she is referring to mink releases of arsons.
P: Isn't it clear that she is referring to arsons.
L: No. Because if someone tried to release my horses, I would try to stop them and I might get hurt. This is a good sentence for your case, but its wishy-washy.
P: Does this affect your opinion of BW?
L: No- Theres a big difference between action and talk. I saw BW in action and her action was above reproach.. We all say things in the spur of the moment, like people who say "Kill the Umpire!" at a baseball game, but I don't think they're killers!
P: You said "above reproach"
Gov't exhibit 1102
Defense: What is the P focusing on?
P: I want to point out the "above reproach" . I'll point out something that might make her reconsider.
From website (supportbriana.org) "100000 pages of discovery" need help, we have a mountain to climb... this is FRAUD! Her 2 attorneys are appointed by the court! She's trying to ask for money fraudulently!!
D: I'm quite astonished.
P: It was always A LIE! (shouting)
(jurors come back in)
P:Are you aware that BW has a website?
L: No.
P: Could you look at page 3?
L: yes
P: 3rd paragraph, "BW has found 2 great attorneys... . Mountain to climb" Do you see these words? Would it change your opinion if you knew that Mr. Fox was court appointed? Wouldn't you read it as if BW was asking for help?
L: No, these things cost money... she's a working person and these things cost money. I think you're grasping at straws.

Notes for this day will be continued in the next post!

homepage: homepage: http://www.olycivlib.org