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Felony Charge Against Treesitter Reduced
by Remedy
Saturday Apr 23rd, 2005 4:01 PM
Treesit Extractors should be investigated for "sadistic torture," attorney says.
Eureka, CA - Felony charges will not be pressed against treesitter Ramsey Noah Gifford, who has faced bogus charges of assault with a deadly weapon for nearly two years following an April 2003 tree-top altercation with Maxxam/Pacific Lumber climbers hired to eject protestors in order to clear-cut old-growth redwood forest.

PL treesit extractor Eric Schatz of Schatz Tree Service, who is the alleged victim of the assault, gave three days of testimony, mostly in answer to heavy questioning by defense attorney Michael Acosta. Attorneys for Gifford played footage of the incident taken with the extractor’s helmet cameras, and asked Schatz to stop the tape at the time Gifford allegedly tried to unhook Schatz from his safety gear. Schatz was unable to pinpoint an assault.

In closing statements, prosecutor Tim Stoen moved to strike the strike aspect of the felony charge, which would have been charged as strike one under California’s barbaric “three strikes law.” The DA’s office was apparently unaware that a felony strike charge has been pending against Gifford for nearly two years. However, Stoen described Giffords actions as “felony conduct through and through,” opposing the defense’s motion to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

Attorney Omar Figueroa made closing statements on behalf of Gifford, and contended that his client was the actual victim of an assault by extractor Michael Oxman, who can be seen in the footage standing on Gifford, putting his foot on Giffords chest and neck, and using a forearm to the throat. Schatz described “Ox” as weighing 230 pounds at the time of the incident. Figueroa asked that the DA’s office “investigate the sadistic torture committed by Mr. Oxman."

Judge John Feeney stated that the purpose of the preliminary trial was to establish probably cause. The actions by Gifford did not rise to the level of a felony assault, he said.

The trial date will be set at a hearing on May 26, 2005 in Eureka.

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
what was the issue?a concerned localTuesday Apr 26th, 2005 8:42 PM
say what? another concerned citizenTuesday Apr 26th, 2005 11:32 AM
yeah, for real & kicking PL assmichael acostaMonday Apr 25th, 2005 10:05 PM
nice comment there...sinnsaoirseMonday Apr 25th, 2005 3:10 PM
are you for real acosta?concerned citizenMonday Apr 25th, 2005 1:48 PM

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