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Briana found guilty on 2 counts of arson, more info to come

guilty on 2 counts
Right now on the Seattle Times website:

Developing | A California woman charged in the 2001 arson at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture has been found guilty of two counts of arson.
Details to come.

more news 06.Mar.2008 11:04

some kid

A federal jury found that Briana Waters, a former Olympia resident, was among a group of ecosaboteurs who torched the center in the predawn hours of May 21, 2001, causing about $1.5 million in damage. The center was later rebuilt at a cost of about $7 million.

Waters faces up to five years in prison for each count of arson.

But the jury, which had been deliberating since Friday afternoon, couldn't reach a verdict on three other counts, including one that would have resulted in a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.

In all, Waters faced five counts: two counts of arson, one count of conspiracy and two charges stemming from the possession and use of a homemade time-delayed gasoline bomb used to start the fire. Use of the device in a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the fire because it believed, mistakenly, that a UW researcher was genetically engineering trees.

Late Wednesday, jurors sent a note to U.S. District Judge Franklin Burgess that indicated they were unable to reach a unanimous decision on all counts and asked how to proceed. The judge asked the jurors if they had reached unanimous verdicts on at least some of the charges, and the jurors responded "Yes."

Prosecutors urged the judge to accept whatever verdicts had been reached, but Burgess refused and sent the jury home Wednesday night. Burgess this morning agreed to accept the partial verdict.

p 06.Mar.2008 14:05


She is being held this afternoon in custody while the judge decides if he is going to release her until sentencing. That hearing is scheduled to happen at 2pm. Bob Bloom also stated that they will be appealing the verdict.

Update and Clarification 06.Mar.2008 14:19

Dance and Revolution

Its at least five years for each arson conviction. and the defense just announced they will be appealing the decision. she's being sentenced May 30th. Please keep your thoughts with Briana and her family in this troubling time. she is innocent and this witch hunt/guilt by association can happen to anyone. this affects everyone trying to make the world a better place. we can not stand and let corrupt federal investigators and a corrupt legal system silence people from making positive change.

Briana did not commit any arson and did not ever conspire or think of damaging any property. She was found guilty because she was friends with people who have plead guilty to arson. THIS IS NOT A CRIME! The case against her was flimsy at best and they used writings from other people and entered as evidence details form the other arsons, which had nothing to do with her case. They character assassinated her by taking words out of context and linking her with people she has never met.

She did not receive a fair trial: the judge denied the defense several opportunities to rebut prosecution's evidence. For example, the defense was not allowed to show the video Briana made, "Watch", to the jury, but the prosecution quoted from the video twice (completely out of context too!). Also, the prosecution spent several hours of the trial with expert witnesses regarding the "bomb" and what is considered an incendiary device (the definition was changed a few weeks before the trial started). But, the judge refused the defense's expert witness (a forensics scientist for 27 years with a focus on arsons who worked with AFT and the FBI and still teaches them about arson) the opportunity to speak about his definition of an incendiary device.

As far as sentencing someone to 10-20 years in jail for a fire that didn't hurt any human being: something is insanely fucked up with our justice system. A violent act such as rape has a less harsh sentence and emotionally destroys someone for life. Not to mention, the rapist is back on the street again to rape again.

Please keep Briana, her baby, and partner in your thoughts in the coming weeks.

p 06.Mar.2008 15:34


further clarification.

each arson conviction carries a 5-20 year sentence, however, because the 2 arson charges are "2 prongs" of the same act the sentences for these two crimes will almost certainly be consequtive, which means they run at the same time, not back to back.