Judge Grants Release to Halfway House for Red Fawn Fallis

Bismarck Tribune, June 22, 2017

A federal judge has given Red Fawn Fallis permission to move from a jail in Rugby to a halfway house.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ordered on Tuesday that Fallis be released as soon as space is available at Centre Inc. in Fargo. Hovland had previously denied a similar request for Fallis, who is accused of shooting at police officers during a Dakota Access Pipeline protest on Oct. 27.

In his order, Hovland cited Fallis’ successful completion of a furlough to attend a memorial service in Colorado for her mother and the need for easier communication with her attorney, Bruce Ellison, of Rapid City, S.D.

U.S. Attorney David Hagler had opposed the request, saying she remained a danger to the community and a flight risk.

Fallis’ trial, which was scheduled for July 17, has been postponed to Dec. 5. Ellison asked for the continuance due to the amount of evidence and legal issues in the case. The government did not oppose this request.

Ellison has also requested to move the jury trial out of Bismarck to another jurisdiction. Ellison cited “the massive, pervasive and prejudicial pre-trial publicity that has attended the pipeline protests and, specifically, her arrest and prosecution.”

The government and judge have not yet responded to his request.

[SOURCE]

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Judge Asks Army Corps to Revisit Environmental Analysis of Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters march along the pipeline route during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in St. Anthony, N.D., on Monday. (Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

  • Staff | Reuters – Wed Jun 14, 2017

A federal judge on Wednesday said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not fully weigh the impacts of the Dakota Access pipeline and ordered it to reconsider sections of its environmental analysis.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington said that while the Army Corps substantially complied with the National Environmental Policy Act, it did not adequately consider the impacts of a possible oil spill on the fishing and hunting rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The tribe had sued the Army Corps over its approval of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

“To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court,” the judge said in a court order.

Operations of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s pipeline have not been suspended but will be considered later, the order said.

(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

[SOURCE]

Woman Arrested in Muskrat Falls Protest Moved to Men’s Prison in St. John’s

Labrador’s Beatrice Hunter is now behind bars at the province’s largest male prison, days after the Labrador Land Protectors held a vigil outside of the RCMP’s Happy Valley-Goose Bay lockup. (Facebook and CBC)

Beatrice Hunter — an Inuit grandmother — has been transferred more than 1,000 kilometres from home

CBC Posted: Jun 02, 2017 

Beatrice Hunter, a Labrador woman sent to jail this week after she told the court she could not promise to obey an injunction against protesting at Muskrat Falls, is now behind bars at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s.

With no female correctional facility in Labrador, Hunter is just the latest woman to end up in the province’s largest male prison.

“Females are being held again at HMP because of crowding at the Clarenville (women’s) facility,” said Memorial University professor and sociologist Rose Ricciardelli on Friday.

“It’s definitely a problem. It’s very challenging. She’s clearly not in a good space, she’s probably not very comfortable where she is and she doesn’t have the supports that would be essential.”

Hunter was brought into custody on Monday morning during proceedings related to charges laid after a Muskrat Falls protest over the Victoria Day weekend.

Beatrice Hunter was taken into custody Monday, after she told the court she would not promise to stay away from the Muskrat Falls construction site. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Shouldn’t be incarcerated

Ricciardelli says Hunter shouldn’t have been incarcerated in the first place.

“There’s no need or reason that a non-violent individual would be held in a … place such as prison,” she told CBC’s Labrador Morning.

Though Hunter was given the option by a judge to avoid prison time if she agreed to stay away from Muskrat Falls, Ricciardelli says more alternatives should have been made available.

“Giving her this option of saying, ‘Can you adhere? Can you stay away from the land?‘ is not really presenting an alternative if she feels like her role is to be on the land,” she said.

“Her choices were very clear [and] she was very honest in her response.”

Being sent to prison far away from home also places an undue burden on families of inmates like Hunter, said Ricciardelli. Hunter lives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, located in northern Labrador, more than 1,000 kilometres from St. John’s.

“There are no resources in places to have families go and visit loved ones who are incarcerated,” she said.

‘She’s in there with murderers’

A small group of supporters gathered outside HMP on Friday afternoon to protest Hunter’s incarceration.

“We would like to see her freed. It’s ridiculous,” said Jodi Greenleaves. “There was no violent crimes committed … they have her inside here in a men’s prison that’s over-populated and is in disgusting condition.”

“She’s in there with murderers and rapists and drug abusers — she’s an Inuit grandmother, a kind and gentle person. She’s not at risk to hurt anybody … she’s a political prisoner, is what she is.”

Jodi Greenleaves, originally of Cartwright, stands outside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s on Friday to protest Beatrice Hunter’s incarceration at the men’s prison. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Hunter, who went onto the main Muskrat Falls site last October, is expected to appear in provincial court Tuesday for a hearing.

With files from Labrador Morning and Gary Locke

[SOURCE]

Muskrat Falls Opponent in Custody, Protesters Block Court Vehicle

Beatrice Hunter, far left (wearing headband) is being held in custody. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Beatrice Hunter wouldn’t promise to obey court order and stay away from the site

By Katie Breen, CBC News Posted: May 29, 2017

A Muskrat Falls protester is being held in custody after refusing to tell a judge in Happy Valley-Goose Bay court that she’d stay away from the site — and a group called Labrador Land Protectors are protesting her detainment.

Beatrice Hunter was one of four people who appeared in court Monday afternoon for protesting at the project’s main gate on May 20 and 21.

The other three individuals were released after promising Justice George Murphy they would obey the existing court order. Hunter, however, said she couldn’t promise to stay away from the site, and Murphy ordered her to be held in custody.

As Hunter was being loaded in a police van Monday afternoon, members of a group called Labrador Land Protectors laid down in front of the vehicle. Hunter was then led back inside Supreme Court.

“That’s exactly what Nalcor is doing to us, they’re keeping us away,” said Erin Saunders, one of three who said she’d refrain from protesting.

“I guess I’m going to have to obey this because if I go back down there — or anyone else — the judge said, ‘Arrest them right on the spot,’ and he gave that order to the sheriff’s department.”

The RCMP advised the crowd outside the courthouse that if they continued to obstruct a police vehicle, protesters would be charged with obstruction.

Erin Saunders also appeared in court on Monday but was let out on the promise that she wouldn’t break the injunction or her undertaking again. (Katie Breen/CBC)

The group Labrador Land Protectors gathered at the main gate over the Victoria Day weekend in reaction to the flooding at Mud Lake.

The lawyer for Nalcor said the Crown corporation identified 10 people who broke the order, but that the four in court Monday were “repeat offenders.”

The lawyer said Nalcor would be pursuing contempt of court proceedings against the rest of the group, as well as five people who walked onto the North Spur site prior to the May 20 and 21 protest.

The undertaking that Hunter and the other protesters signed states that they will stay at least one kilometre away from any Muskrat site.

The three people who agreed to uphold the existing injunction are due back in court next Monday.

[SOURCE]

Man Who Threatened Dakota Access Protesters Pleads Guilty, Avoids Jail Time

Jesse D. McLain

A Bismarck man shown in a viral video wearing a mask and threatening Dakota Access Pipeline protesters has pleaded guilty and will avoid jail time.

Jesse Dean McLain signed a plea agreement downgrading two Class C felony charges of terrorizing to two Class A misdemeanor counts of menacing. The charges stem from an early December confrontation with Dakota Access protesters at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck, where Dean Dedman Jr. recorded a live Facebook video of masked men threatening him and other hotel guests.

The video shows vehicles preventing Dedman and his driver from leaving, with the masked men saying they would sexually assault the victims’ wives and “f— you up.”

McLain was arrested shortly after the incident. He faced five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each charge, but his plea deal filed in Burleigh County District Court said a one-year jail sentence would be suspended, meaning he doesn’t have to serve time if he completes a year of probation and goes through anger management.

Gerald Stanley, Accused in Colten Boushie Case, to Stand Trial for Second Degree Murder

Colten Boushie’s family surrounded by support outside the North Battleford courthouse Aug. 18, 2016.

Gerald Stanley committed to stand trial for second degree murder of Colten Boushie

By Red Power Media, Staff | April 06, 2017

The Saskatchewan farmer charged in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie has been committed to stand trial.

650 CKOM reports, Gerald Stanley will stand trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench, in North Battleford, on the charge of second degree murder.

The ruling came down Thursday, on the last day of Stanley’s preliminary hearing.

On Aug. 9, 2016, Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was a passenger in a car with four other people when he was shot and killed on Stanley’s rural property after the group went to ask for help with a flat tire.

Gerald Stanley leaves North Battleford provincial court on the last day of his preliminary hearing Thursday. A judge ordered him to stand trial on second-degree murder. (Jason Warick/CBC )

The allegations against Stanley have not yet been proven in court.

A trial date has not been set, however the Crown said it would be fall 2017 at the earliest.

All evidence and testimony from Stanley’s preliminary hearing are under a publication ban.

The next scheduled appearance for Stanley is June 26, 1:30 in provincial court on two charges of unsafe storage of a firearm.

RCMP are also looking into laying hate-speech charges over racist comments made online about the Colten Boushie case.

RCMP say that Mounties have “looked into a number of instances of potential hate crimes” over the last few months in Saskatchewan. No charges have yet been laid.

RELATED:

The RCMP was accused of showing bias in its initial media release issued about the shooting.

The way RCMP initially described the shooting death of Boushie fueled racial tensions in Saskatchewan.

Social media exploded with rumours and posts that wished violence on Boushie’s friends and Indigenous people in general.

Hearing attracts rally

CBC News reports, a crowd of nearly 100 people carrying placards reading “Justice for Colten” and “Native Lives Matter!” gathered outside the courthouse on Thursday.

According to the Battlefords News-Optimist, a number of Indigenous leaders, including Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) officials and several area Chiefs, were in attendance decrying the racism they were seeing.

“This is tragic, but again it’s not the first time,” said FSIN vice-chief Heather Bear. She voiced support for laying charges for those who had promoted hate speech on social media in the wake of the tragedy.

At the rally Colten’s cousin Jade Tootoosis stood beside Colten’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, and read a statement on behalf of the family.

“While his death revealed a deep divide in this province, it also brought us here, to this court house where we can come together and ask for a fair trial for everyone involved. We, Colten’s family, hope that this preliminary hearing and the issues that it raises about our relationships with each other, will generate further discussion and dialogue to help us bring our communities together.”

Following the preliminary hearing, crowds broke into chants of “Justice for Colten” after they learned that Stanley had been committed to stand trial.

“I’m pretty sure my brother’s looking down now happy,” said Colten Boushie’s brother, William Boushie, to reporters following the proceedings.

RCMP barricades blocked the road in front of North Battleford Provincial Court for much of the hearing’s, while several officers were stationed outside the building and inside the hallways and courtroom.

The lawyer for the Boushie family, Chris Murphy, said he wasn’t aware of any threats and said he’s never before seen that amount of security at a court case.

Tina Fontaine’s Alleged Killer Going Straight to Trial

Raymond Cormier will be directly indicted in a Winnipeg court on Tuesday afternoon. (Tom Andrich/ CBC)

Raymond Cormier will be directly indicted in a Winnipeg court on Tuesday afternoon. (Tom Andrich/ CBC)

Raymond Cormier will be directly indicted and will not have a preliminary hearing

By Katie Nicholson, CBC News Posted: Feb 21, 2017

The man charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tina Fontaine will be directly indicted in a Manitoba court Tuesday afternoon.

A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Raymond Cormier in May but that’s all out the window now. Cormier’s case will now proceed directly to trial.

“That is, quite honestly, a problem for us,” said Tony Kavanagh, the senior counsel on Cormier’s defence team.

“A preliminary inquiry is a very useful tool for the criminal justice system, Crown and defence alike,” said Kavanagh, a former Crown prosecutor.

“What it really allows us to do is to zone in on the key issues. Who are the main witnesses? What’s the key issue of contention in terms of this case and in a case as serious as this? It’s perhaps the most important tool the defence and Crown has.”

Without a preliminary hearing, Kavanagh said he and his client will have to sift through a vast volume of evidence without being able to hone in on the specifics of the case against Cormier.

“One of the difficulties, in fact, is because the preliminary inquiry was taken away from our client we have less of a chance to do what I would call the discovery process where we might test a few witnesses,” said Kavanagh. “That’s been yanked away from him.”

Lawyer Tony Kavanagh says preliminary hearing "yanked away" from client Raymond Cormier. (Lyza Sale/ CBC

Lawyer Tony Kavanagh says preliminary hearing “yanked away” from client Raymond Cormier. (Lyza Sale/ CBC

Cormier was charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine in December 2015 following a months-long elaborate Mr. Big Sting. Since that arrest, he has been in segregation, mostly at the Brandon Correctional Centre

Manitoba Department of Justice Prosecutions policy states “normally a preliminary inquiry should be held and a direct indictment should not be considered unless exceptional circumstances exist that outweigh the benefits of holding a preliminary inquiry.”

According to the policy, “overriding the right to a preliminary inquiry by preferring direct indictment is an extraordinary step.”

According to the province’s policy, the Crown can press for direct indictment if:

  • There is danger of harm, trauma or intimidation to witnesses or their families.
  • Reasonable basis to believe that witnesses will attempt to subvert court process.
  • The age or health of victims and witnesses is factor.
  • A lengthy court process creates a substantial inconvenience to witnesses.
  • The need to protect ongoing police work.

Perhaps most relevant to an investigation, which included a Mr. Big Sting, the policy states “the Crown can seek direct indictment if the outcome of the case will be largely dependent on the outcome of Charter challenges to Crown evidence that cannot be advanced at a preliminary inquiry,” for example, whether or not wiretap evidence could be used.

‘A great concern’

Kavanagh said he doesn’t know which arguments the Crown made to proceed to direct indictment.

“It’s always a great concern when the Crown takes this step,” said Kavanagh.

“It does bring with it consequent dangers and one of the dangers especially in a case with a Mr. Big — especially in a case with other tenuous evidence and our client strongly denies this allegation — it takes away that opportunity to discover,” said Kavanagh. “So it won’t be until the trial itself that we’ll actually get to see what we’re dealing with.”

Although rare, Manitoba Justice has granted direct indictments in high-profile cases before. In 2010, a preliminary hearing was scrubbed in the case against Denis Jerome Labossiere, who was later convicted of slaying his parents and brother.

A preliminary hearing was also scrubbed in the case of Jeffrey Cansanay who was facing charges of second-degree murder.  In 2007, the original case against Cansanay was thrown out after going straight to trial because two witnesses ended up refusing to testify. Cansanay was re-arrested, retried and convicted three years later.

Kavanagh said Cormier is disappointed and concerned by the decision.

“He thought it was yet another step in the process of curtailing what he sees as his rights, his ability to defend himself against some of the most serious charges in the criminal justice system,” Kavanagh said.

Kavanagh estimates the earliest a trial date will be set will be the end of 2017 or early 2018.

Crown attorney James Ross declined comment.

The direct indictment will also delay another legal matter Cormier is grappling with — an appeal before the Law Enforcement Review Agency (LERA). Cormier filed a complaint in 2016 with LERA claiming Winnipeg police fabricated evidence against him in the death of Tina Fontaine.

Cormier had a LERA court date scheduled for Wednesday but it will now be put over to another date.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/iteam/raymond-cormier-tina-fontaine-direct-indictment-1.3991305

Judge Dismisses Trespass Cases Midway Through Trial

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Bismarck Tribune | Feb 17, 2017

A judge dismissed the criminal trespass charges against three pipeline protesters halfway through their jury trial this morning.

According to lawyers in the courtroom, the judge found the prosecutor had not shown the land was posted or that the protesters had been asked by an authorized person to leave — at least one of which is required to prove criminal trespass.

On Friday morning, a jury was picked and the prosecutor put five highway patrolmen on the stand. After that, the three defense attorneys motioned to get the cases dismissed.

Kent Morrow, who represented one of the women charged, said in an interview after court that the patrolmen testified to people being on private property, but not to anyone with authority over the property telling them to leave.

“The judge said the law and statute is pretty clear,” Morrow said.

In his defense, Morton County State’s Attorney Brian Grosinger argued in court that the protesters should have known the land was private.

“What I had argued to the judge was I could prove notice by circumstantial evidence,” Grosinger said in an interview. “By the circumstances surrounding — considering it was a construction site, the people were wearing masks.”

The three Dakota Access Pipeline protesters were among 22 people arrested at a construction site near Almont on Sep. 13. According to an affidavit filed with the charges, a highway patrol captain “advised the protesters they were protesting and subject to arrest.”

Bruce Nestor, a Minnesota-based attorney representing some pipeline protesters, recently got three trespass cases from the same day dismissed on similar grounds after filing a motion.

Watching the trial today, Nestor said: “This was the same thing, except here the state wasted the judge’s time, the jury’s time and brought six highway troopers in from their normal duties to spend half a day at the Morton County Courthouse.”

Grosinger said he would work to prove notice more adequately in future trials.

[SOURCE]

Dakota Access Pipeline Decision Could Come This Week: Army Corps

DAPL Drill Pad Update DEC 9 2017-01-02

DAPL Drill Pad Update DEC 9 2017-01-02

Red Power Media | Feb 06, 2017

The Army Corps of Engineers could reach a decision as early as this week on whether to grant an easement to the Dakota Access pipeline, according to an attorney for the government on Monday.

A decision “may occur by the end of the week,” said Department of Justice attorney Matt Marinelli on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers. If the easement is granted, construction on the controversial oil pipeline would resume.

Once the Army Corps review process is complete, a final decision will be made and the Army Corps will notify Congress as required, according to Marinelli.

This is the first time the Army Corps has placed a timeline on the decision. The Army Corps could not offer more specifics or a definitive timeline.

Attorneys for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said that the easement would be “unlawful” and they expect to request the court to intervene quickly if it’s granted. They also asked for a 48-hour notice of the decision.

“The Corps is making it clear that an easement decision is coming soon, potentially by the end of the week. If the Corps abandons the previously announced review process and issues the easement, it will be yet another case of Trump ordering a federal agency to sidestep the law—and the issue will be in front of a federal judge very quickly,” said Jan Hasselman, an attorney for Earth Justice, which is representing Standing Rock.

Dakota Access LLC, a joint venture between Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and other companies, told U.S. District Judge James Boasberg today that in the “best case scenario,” it would take 60 days for the first oil to enter the pipeline and 83 days for oil to reach the other side of the pipeline in Illinois once construction begins. This would give the company time to complete its high-pressure water testing and other final tests, according to an attorney for Dakota Access LLC.

The company also argued that transporting oil through the four-state pipeline is much safer than other forms of transportation, such as rail or truck.

The 1,172-mile pipeline is almost finished, except for a section under Lake Oahe in North Dakota that’s been the focus of massive protests in recent months.

The judge scheduled a further status hearing for Monday, Feb. 13.

From ABC News: 

[READ FULL ARTICLE]

Attempted Murder Charges Against Red Fawn Fallis Dropped, Now Facing Federal Charges

red-fawn

Red Fawn Fallis.

Red Fawn transferred from Morton County to Stutsman County, ND.

By Red Power Media, Staff | Nov 29, 2016 | Updated Dec 3, 2016

Attempted murder charges were dropped in a North Dakota courtroom Monday against Red Fawn Fallis, accused of firing a gun at police during a Dakota Access Pipeline protest.

Fallis, 37, from Denver, who faced 20 years is now facing federal charges instead.

According to The Bismarck Tribune, Fallis was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

The mandatory maximum sentence if convicted is 10 years in prison.

Either the U.S. attorney will seek a grand jury indictment against her within two weeks, or she will have a preliminary court hearing Dec. 12.

The attempted murder charges filed against Fallis in Morton County were dismissed because of the federal case, according to court records.

The federal complaint alleges that Fallis fired two shots toward officers while being arrested Oct. 27, as law enforcement cleared the northern “front line” camp on N.D. Highway 1806.

According to the complaint, Fallis later told law enforcement she was trying to pull the gun out of her pocket and it went off when deputies jumped her.

Vice News reports, Police allege she resisted arrest by tucking her arms under her body, and in the struggle that ensued, they heard two gunshots ring out, and saw the ground near one officer’s left knee “explode.” Officers say they grabbed a gun from her left hand and handcuffed her.

She did not have the gun in her hand when police took her down, the affidavit states. But they believe she was able to get the gun when the officer let go of her left arm.

None of the officers said they saw her pull the trigger. One officer said in his affidavit that two shots were fired, while another said that three shots were.

On Monday, the U.S. government asked for Fallis to be held in detention, which she did not contest. A date for a bail hearing has not been set.

As Fallis faced the judge, Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters marched around the block of the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan chanting “Free Red Dawn.”

According to the Facebook page Free RedFawn, she has been transferred from Morton County to Stutsman County, ND.

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A banner declaring “Free Red Fawn” hangs at a protest camp against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. (Photo: Red Power Media)

Supporters have advocated on Fallis’ behalf since her arrest. Some have also suggested that Fallis was targeted by police. On social media her supporters are using the hashtag #FreeRedFawn. Standing Rock camps have rallied behind her as well. Large painted banners declaring “Free Red Fawn” hang throughout the camp.

Fallis still has open misdemeanor cases in Morton County, including three separate incidents in which she is charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and maintaining a public nuisance in connection with pipeline protests.

If you’d like to learn more about Red Fawn Fallis and her defense please visit: https://www.generosity.com/fundraising/free-red-fawn 

You can also send Red Fawn money via inmatecanteen.com Stutsman County or a message of support via the inmate message line at (701)2512365.

Lastly you can write to her at:
Red Fawn Fallis
Stutsman County Correctional Center
205 6th st. SE, Ste 201
Jamestown, ND 58401

#FreeRedFawn