MI CATS Court Report Back

Plea Deals be Dropping like the Nasdaq: A Report Back from ScooterIMG_20130807_065239_238-576x1024

by Scooter / Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands

In the face of the blustery, polar vortexing wind, my mom, a handful of supporters, and myself braved the La Porte County Courthouse yesterday morning. The occasion? A status hearing on the alleged Felony theft, and two counts of tresspass I was being charged with for the tree sit that was deployed in September of 2013 against Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline 6B.

My lawyer, Jonathan Howes, presented me with two plea deals. One of the offers would be a suspended jail sentence of 357 days non-reporting probation, and a vague “no contact order” with Canadian corporation Enbridge and Precision Pipeline. The other plea deal includes 60 days jail time (with 4 days time served) and another vague “no contact order” with Enbridge & Precison Pipeline, no probation is required if I take this option.

The judge gave me until April 16th to decide on which plea deal I will take. Some theorists suspect that Enbridge is being more passive with this case than in Ingham County because they want to get the project over with, with as little resistance and media attention as possible. When we told the judge that I needed more time to contemplate the options, he said, “gosh if I had known how much headache I’d be caused by this pipeline with the traffic and everything, I might have been biased in your favor.” I giggled inside a little. The judge also echoed the chorus of disbelief toward the felony theft charges. I only contain a small bit of regret for complying with the bold faced lie of the police that September day when I came down from the tree, but am enthusiastic for another summer of organizing and resistance.

Ingham County police are guarding the pipeline construction project, where it intersects highway 80 in Indiana.

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