Third Y-12 protester has detention hearing today, trial rescheduled

Greg Boertje-Obed

Greg Boertje-Obed

The third protester who has remained in jail since a July 28 security breach at the Y-12 National Security Complex has a detention hearing at 2 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

Greg Boertje-Obed had previously waived his right to a detention hearing, and he has remained jailed in Blount County. The other two anti-nuclear weapons activists, Megan Rice and Michael R. Walli, were freed Aug. 3.

Meanwhile, U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley has rescheduled the trial of the protesters to Feb. 26, 2013. The case will be tried before U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips.

The three anti-nuclear weapons activists had originally faced an Oct. 10 trial. But they requested more time, saying the evidence in the case is voluminous, and it involves significant and complex issues, including national security and First Amendment issues.

Knoxville attorney Francis L. Lloyd Jr., who represents Rice, said his client broke both wrists in a fall and that has impeded her ability to communicate with him, according to court records.

Boertje-Obed, Rice, and Walli have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of trespassing, property depredation, and property destruction. They face potential penalties of up to 16 years in jail and $600,000 in fines.

The trio are accused of sneaking into Y-12 before dawn July 28, cutting through three fences, and setting off alarms before spraying paint and splashing blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where bomb-grade uranium is stored.

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