Greetings Friends of Plowshares,
It’s two down and two to go as it pertains to charges against the Transform Now Plowshares!!! The update from Ralph Hutchison (read below) is good news. Who knows; maybe they will drop that silly “sabotage” charge next.
Government drops one count against Transform Now Plowshares activists.
[April 25, 2013 • Knoxville, TN] Since entering the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in July of 2012, Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice and Michael Walli have faced four charges ranging from trespass to sabotage. In November, the government dropped the trespass charge. Today, April 25, the government dismissed a second charge:
The Grand Jury further charges that, on or about July 28,2012, within the Eastern District of Tennessee, the defendants, MICHAEL R. WALLI, MEGAN RICE, and GREG BOERTJEOBED, aiding and abetting each other, at a place within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, namely, the United States Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Y-12 National Security Complex, did willfully and maliciously destroy, injure, and attempt to destroy and injure, a structure, and other real and personal property within the Y-12 National Security Complex, in violation of Title 18, United States Code,ı Sections 1363 and 2.
The charge carried a possible sentence of 5-10 years.
With this dismissal, two charges remain:
• one count charging damage to federal property in excess of $1,000 which carries a maximum ten year sentence
• one count under what is commonly known as the sabotage act charging intent to injure the national defense of the United States which carries a maximum 25 year sentence.
Jury selection for the Transform Now Plowshares case is scheduled for 1:00pm on Monday, May 6 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 before Judge Amul Thapar.
The defendants are awaiting a ruling, due within a week, from Judge Thapar on what testimony, if any, will be withheld from the jury during the trial. Judge Thapar heard testimony from former Attorney General Ramsey Clark on Tuesday, April 23, and received written testimony from several other experts, including Col. Ann Wright (USAF, ret) Dr. Ira Helfland (past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility) and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Archdiocese of Detroit.