Skip to comments.3 charged during protest near fort get probation (FREAKAZOIDS)
Posted on 02/06/2008 5:20:27 PM PST by SandRat
FORT HUACHUCA A trio who trespassed on this Southern Arizona Army post in November were sentenced to two years probation by a federal magistrate in Tucson on Monday.
The motion hearings on Monday were initially scheduled with a trial to be started Tuesday, but ended up with the Rev. Jerome Zawada of Las Vegas, Frances Elizabeth Lamb of Bend, Ore., and Mary Burton Riseley of Cliff, N.M., each being given the probation sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Marshall.
The three also were ordered to pay a $5,000 fine or serve 500 hours of community service.
Prosecutor Army Capt. Evan Seamone said there was no plea agreement, but the government offered to drop a charge of conspiracy if they agreed to drop all their motions and stipulate to key prosecution facts, including videotape of the trios actions last year when they illegally entered the fort, transcripts of interviews and photographs of the incident.
Based on the evidence, the defendants were found guilty of the charges of trespass and disobeying the orders of an officer, the captain said Tuesday.
Two of the defendants, Zawada, a 70-year-old Franciscan priest, and 69-year-old Lamb, were jailed pending trial because of other potential federal actions against them, Seamone said earlier.
The probation is unsupervised, but all the defendants have to write truthful reports to probation officers about whether they have been arrested, the prosecutor said.
If Zawada and Lamb violate their probation they could be jailed for eight months instead of 10 months because they would receive credit for the 60 days they have spent in jail waiting trial. The pair were incarcerated some time after being initially charged when it was determined Zawada and Lamb had outstanding federal actions or had promised not to be arrested based on other federal actions. Riseley, who spent no time in pre-trial confinement, would have to serve the entire 10 months if she violates probation.
Zawada has told another newspaper that he intends to continue his activities of protesting what he considers torture being taught on the post and other anti-military functions.
The trio were the second group of anti-fort protesters charged with and found guilty of trespassing on the post.
In November 2006, two priests, the Rev. Louis J. Vitale, 74, a Franciscan, and the Rev. Steve Kelly, a Jesuit, were arrested and eventually found guilty of trespassing and failure to obey a law enforcement officer.
Each were sentenced to nearly six months in federal prison after another Tucson-based federal judge accepted their no contest pleas to the two charges.
As for the potential that Zawada, Lamb and Riseley may show up for this years expected protest outside the fort, Seamone said, It is not illegal to protest outside the gate in an approved manner. However, each of the three defendants has been barred from the installation.
Re-entry on the fort for any reason would not only constitute a basis for another criminal trespass charge, but would also constitute a violation of their probation, he said.
However, they could legally protest on Sierra Vista property without violating any law or terms of their probation, the captain added.
Last years protest was the fourth time people gathered outside the fort to protest what they say is torture being taught at the Intelligence Center.
Post officials have denied such accusations.
Seamone said the magistrate even noted at the Monday hearing the torture nexus, saying the issue of torture at Fort Huachuca is a dead issue. She did so after receiving assurances from the Army that waterboarding and other techniques that might be described as torture were not being taught or tolerated on the fort, the captain added.
SENIOR REPORTER Bill Hess can be reached at 515-4615 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Probation. Yeah, that’ll do it.
The Probbies will be back in Nov and they’ll do it again then it’ll be Soap on a Rope time for em.
Next time he's picked up, just put him to good use.
Waterboarding Demonstrator, POST! (sorry, couldn't resist)
So is Ft. Huachuca completely inaccessible to civilians now?
Last time I was there, late ‘80s, you could come and go as you pleased, and one of my favorite 4WD trails started on the post and went south into the mountains.
Once, in fact, I found a way to go all the way across the Huachuca Mtns from the post.
Beautiful country around there!
The main gate that day was barricaded closed.
MPs, FBI, and Gov’t Security Police everywhere. The Protesters were specifically told verbally and with many large signs prohibiting entry.
These 3 FREAKAZOIDS did it anyway with the intent of getting arrested.