Red Fawn Fallis Sentenced to 57 months in Federal prison

Red Fawn Fallis

Red Fawn Fallis has been sentenced for her role in a shooting incident during the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

According to media reports, Fallis, 39, was sentenced Wednesday to four years and nine months in federal prison.

Fallis, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, was accused of firing a handgun three times while resisting arrest on Oct. 27, 2016. No one was hurt.

She pleaded guilty Jan. 22 to civil disorder and illegal possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Prosecutors agreed to drop another weapons charge.

Prosecutors were recommending seven years in prison, though U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland could have gone as high as 15 years.

Fallis did not get credit for time served in a halfway house after she was arrested in January for violating her pretrial release agreement. Judge Hovland says he is recommending placement in Phoenix or Tucson, Ariz.

Fallis is also sentenced to three years of supervised probation after her release; including special conditions of drug and alcohol treatment and treatment for mental health issues.

The sentence can be appealed within 14 days of the judgement being signed.

Fallis’s arrest was one of 761 that authorities made during the height of the Dakota Access pipeline protests near Standing Rock, North Dakota in 2016 and 2017.

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Prosecutor Asks Judge to Keep Environmental, Treaty Issues Out of First Protester Trial

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Staff | Bismarck Tribune – Dec 15, 2016

The first pipeline protesters will go on trial Monday and the prosecutor is asking that they keep issues of tribal sovereignty, the concerns about the Dakota Access Pipeline and “any other social or political cause” out of the courtroom.

“This trial is not being held so there can be a forum to extend the months of conflict and context over these extraneous issues,” Ladd Erickson, who is prosecuting the case for Morton County, wrote in a motion filed Dec. 12.

But a local criminal defense attorney involved in the protest cases said the 10 people set to be tried on disorderly conduct charges have “a right to explain why they were there,” which the prosecutor’s request seems to preclude. The protesters fear pipeline construction disturbed sacred sites and that a leak could contaminate the Missouri River.

“They just didn’t parachute in from Mars,” Tom Dickson said. “They certainly have a right to say why they were there, why they were doing what they were doing.”

South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland, who is overseeing the trial, has yet to rule on the motion.

The trial pertains to 10 pipeline protesters arrested on Aug. 11, one of the first days of the protests, when protesters gathered near a construction site on Highway 1806 in Morton County. They are scheduled for a joint misdemeanor trial at the Morton County Courthouse on Monday morning.

The defendants are charged with with disorderly conduct, a B misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines. An affidavit filed with the complaint accuses the defendants of pushing through law enforcement lines or police tape to access the work site. Erickson suggests in court documents that, if convicted, the state would seek $1,000 from each defendant to repay law enforcement costs.

Dickson contends the charges are inherently political.

“People have gotten arrested while espousing their political viewpoint which at some point the state contends violates the law,” Dickson said.

But the judge has suggested in her responses to court motions that she believes the alleged conduct, if proven, is criminal.

In an order responding to a defendant’s requests to dismiss her case because she was exercising her First Amendment rights, Feland wrote that the defendant’s alleged actions, crossing onto an access road to the work site against police orders, went beyond free speech.

“The court recognizes that the First Amendment gives the public a right to voice their concerns, to protest lawfully, to criticize the police and even to yell profanities at police officers, Feland wrote in her order.

“Under the facts alleged, rather than obeying the orders of law enforcement and conducting the protest in a peaceful and lawful manner, the defendant directly disobeyed law enforcement and deliberately crossed into undesignated areas, creating a hazardous and alarming condition for both law enforcement officers and Dakota Access construction workers,” she wrote.

Due to this being the first pipeline trial, 65 potential jurors — the number usually called for a felony trial — have been called to fill the six-person misdemeanor jury, according to Ross Munns, assistant court administrator for the region.

Erickson, the prosecutor, noted there could be issues picking a jury due to the public nature of the case and protests.

“The whole state is invested in this,” Erickson said. “It’s not a typical case where the jurors haven’t heard anything on it.”

The trial is scheduled for one day, with extra tables and chairs to accommodate the 20 lawyers and defendants, but Dickson suggested it could take more than a day just to pick the jury.

“It’s more than just been in the news,” Dickson said. “This has been high-profile and high-involvement by the community.”

In advance of the trial, Feland has ordered court-appointed attorneys to track their hours spent preparing for the cases. This is in response to a motion by Erickson, who indicated in court documents he will seek hearings on repayment of public defender fees after trial. He contends protesters are seeking to cost the state and county money through their arrests and criminal cases.

“Our systems are set up so criminal defendants have their constitutional rights enforced. To the contrary, our systems are not set up to be foddered by economic weaponry when people from around the world come to intentionally commit crimes for political purposes and have North Dakota taxpayers pick up the tab,” Erickson wrote in a motion filed Dec. 12.

At least four of the defendants have court-appointed counsel.

Public defenders have been assigned 287 cases and are requesting an additional $670,000 to pay for the additional lawyers, according to Jean Delaney, executive director of the indigent defense commission. Delaney said it’s not uncommon for the state to try and recoup fees, but it’s typically dependent on the person’s funds, not their intentions.

“Whether there is recoupment ordered is based on whether there is a possibility of the client being able to pay it,” Delaney said.

Feland is a former prosecutor, who recently dismissed felony charges against more than 100 protesters arrested during a raid of the northern “front line” camp.

The defendants include Sara Jumping Eagle, a doctor and wife of former congressional candidate Chase Iron Eyes. For two of the 10 defendants, Monday will not be their last date in court, as they have additional open cases relating to pipeline arrests.

The defendants are from 9 different states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon and Hawaii. They range in age from 23 to 57 years old.

Monday’s trial is just the first pipeline protest trial of the week. Sixteen more protesters are scheduled for trials on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, according to the court clerk’s office.

A total of 571 people have been arrested in connection with the pipeline protests, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

Morton County Sheriff Announces New Law Enforcement Tactics For DAPL Demonstrations

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Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier

Law enforcement officials from across the country ready to support Morton County Sheriff’s Department with DAPL protests

By Sara Berlinger | 

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier has announced new law enforcement tactics to handle Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations that aren’t slowing down.

Thursday afternoon, Kirchmeier was joined by leaders in local enforcement as well as a Wyoming Sheriff. All of the officers potentially will play a part in the new approach.

The Western States Sheriffs’ Association President Danny Glick says he’s ready to round up officers from all across the country, if necessary, to assist Morton County.

Keeping the peace in Morton County has become a daily struggle for law enforcement – being outnumbered is a constant challenge. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier announced he’s getting support from all over the country to help with Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

“When a law enforcement leader calls for assistance, we are all going to come. Same sentiment holds true with sheriffs across this nation,” says Paul Laney, Cass County Sheriff.

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney is serving as Kirchmeier’s Operations Chief for the protests. Now, out of state officers may be called on as reinforcements.

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“There’s a lot of expertise out there across this nation with the sheriffs, and if they can in somehow bring their expertise and their resources here to assist the sheriff, that’s what we need to do,” says Danny Glick, Laramie County Sheriff, Western States Sheriffs’ Association President.

Kirchmeier says the Sacred Stone Camp has expanded to more than 2,000 people. He says it takes a lot of manpower to control demonstrations that large.

“The protest has grown outside I think of what the intentions of the Standing Rock people wanted to occur. This was all about the water, and the pipeline, and the easement going under the core, not a pipeline being put out in the middle of the prairie,” says Kirchmeier.

Protests Wednesday and Thursday occurred outside the 20-mile voluntary ‘no construction zone’ called for by federal authorities. Kirchmeier says maintaining public safety in Morton County is his number one priority, and now with the support from officers from other states, he hopes to accomplish that.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department says protests halted work at several Dakota Access construction sites Thursday, but it didn’t stop altogether.

Source: KFYR-TV