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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons View other events for the week of 3/11/2013
DROP THE CHARGES !
Santa Cruz Eleven: The Final Four
Monday, March 11th 1:30 PM Department 3
Motion to Dismiss All Charges
Gabriella Ripply-Phipps, Brent Adams, Cameron Laurendau, & Angel Alcantara face concocted charges of felony vandalism & misdemeanor trespass in the discredited SC-11 case. Scores of people protested the fraudulent foreclosure actions of Wells Fargo Bank by peacefully occupying the now 5-years vacant Wells Fargo-leased bank building at 75 River St. for 3 ½ days in late 2011. Unable to negotiate a community center there, the protesters left without citation or arrest. 2 ½ months later, SCPD and D.A. Bob Lee targeted eleven community activists with false felony charges for trespass and vandalism in the building, as part of a crackdown on the Occupy Movement.
What followed was 13 months of harassment and tens of thousands of dollars of public expense in endless court hearings. Several of the 11 lost their jobs; one attempted suicide, and one has her housing ripped from under her.
D.A. Lee's prosecuting attorney Rebekah Young repeatedly withheld evidence & refused to obey court orders. In an unusual and unprecedented sanction, Judge Paul Burdick fined her $500. In an exchange caught on video at http://occupysantacruz.org/2012/07/19/santa-cruz-da-befriends-the-usual-suspects/ , Lee publicly told his victims “if you will pay [Wells Fargo] $23,000, it would be a different ball game”. Apparently acting as the bank's bill collector, Lee wants inpoverished and innocent defendants to pay for the inflated clean-up costs at the still-vacant structure. There was some graffiti and some damaged furniture done by parties unknown. SCPD took no action to pinpoint actual vandals, instead using the protest as an opportunity to frame well-known long-time police critics & media at the protest.
No evidence links any of the four with any vandalism. They face a possible four years in prison if convicted under a tortured “if they were there, they aided and abetted” theory. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo continues to destroy families, confiscate homes, and pass on obscene bonuses to its top brass.
Charges against Occupy activists have been dropped in many cities including Chicago, Occupy Nashville, Occupy Oakland (the Ice Cream 3), Occupy Phoenix, Occupy Santa Rosa, Salt Lake City, Boston, Minneapolis, Albany, St. Paul, New York, Dallas, Erie, Charleston, Raleigh, and D.C. Santa Cruz authoritieed still ignore bankster crimes and ignore human rights for homeless people.
Support Activists Under Attack in Santa Cruz!
Drop the Charges: End the Witchhunt!
Sign the petition at http://www.santacruzeleven.org
The opinions on this flyer are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the SC-11.
Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 http://www.huffsantacruz.org 309 Cedar PMB #1B S.C. 3-6-13
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The motion is also publicly viewable at the County Building at the Clerk's Office. Attorneys for Brent Adams and Cameron Laurendau filed separate motions. The attorney for Angel Alcantara joined in the motions, but didn't bother to write one of his own.
Download PDF (148.3kb)
D.A. Rebekah Young filed a motion I have not yet been able to secure a copy of. Her motion responded to Hackett's initial 995 motion to dismiss all charges against Gabriella. The brief above is Hackett's response to Young's motion.
Download PDF (73.1kb)
Why the mendacious, incompetent, and contemptuous assistant D.A. Rebekah Young should be allowed to continue on this case is the real question that needs answering. Just as Wells Fargo is the real criminal that needs prosecuting.
I've only had a brief look at the motions. Still...
Young misrepresents the testimony describing Gabriella as a "leader" and "spokesperson".
Actually, since there was no evidence presented that Gabriella was in the building at all, she can't be guilty of trespass. And if that's not true, she can't be guilty of "aiding and abetting vandalism". It's quite a stretch to claim that vandalism is a foreseeable, probable, and/or necessary consequence of trespass.
In fact, Young substitutes the word "possible consequence" in her argument--which, may misstate the law.
In point of fact didn't the testimony show that Gabriella was an intermediary who, at the request of the SCPD, facilitated a peaceful exit from the building?
For those who want to pore over the actual transcript of the Preliminary Hearing, go to "What Your $100,000+ is paying for: Transcript of the Santa Cruz 11 Preliminary Hearing 1-7" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/02/06/18731489.php.
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Alexis Briggs, who arguably was the most high-profile in challenging the bogus Young/Lee prosecution as well as filing the most motions, supplied most of the motions for this story (which are public documents).
Download PDF (104.0kb)
Rebekah Young's Motion was the same for all four defendants and can be found in the main story above. This is Briggs's response on behalf of Cameron Laurendeau.
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Lisa McCamey, court-appointed attorney for Brent Adams, filed this Motion to Dismiss.
Download PDF (4.1mb)
Only 3 of the 4 attorneys filed 995 Motions. Attorney Jesse Rubin, who has had little communication with his client out of court, declined to do so, other than joining in with the arguments of the three other attorneys. Rubin argues vigorously in court, but apparently doesn't have much use for input or dialogue with his clients outside of court. Or such is my impression. Angel might disagree.
To follow the references in the defense and prosecution documents, go to "What Your $100,000+ is paying for: Transcript of the Santa Cruz 11 Preliminary Hearing 1-7" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/02/06/18731489.php .
The Sentinel's typical coverage of the 995 hearing, which resulted in the rubberstamping of all of the charges against the 4 defendants, can be found at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_22767426/judge-timothy-volkmann-denies-dismissal-final-four-river?source=rss .