Judge says prosecution against Y-12 protesters not selective, vindictive

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed claims by three anti-nuclear weapons activists who broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in July that a so-called sabotage charge filed against them in December was the result of vindictive and selective prosecution.

The defendants had asked the U.S. District Court in Knoxville to dismiss that charge, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years. They alleged government prosecutors sought the new charge because they had earlier refused to plead guilty to less serious charges. [Read more…]

Court will not limit time for jury examination in Y-12 protester case

A federal judge will not limit the time used to examine prospective jurors during jury selection on May 6 in the trial against three anti-nuclear weapons activists accused of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex last summer and vandalizing a uranium storage building.

As previously reported, attorneys for the defendants—Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli—had asked for six hours for jury selection because of the publicity the unprecedented security breach has generated. [Read more…]

Former U.S. attorney general, civil rights participant can testify at Y-12 protester hearing

Y-12 Plowshares Protesters

Pictured above are the three anti-nuclear weapons protesters who broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex on July 28. From left, they are Michael Walli, Megan Rice, and Greg Boertje-Obed.

A federal judge will allow a former U.S. attorney general and civil rights sit-in participant to testify at a Tuesday motions hearing for the three anti-nuclear weapons activists who broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in July.

The two witnesses are former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and civil rights sit-in participant Robert Booker.

The three anti-nuclear weapons activists are accused of cutting through three fences in the high-security Protected Area at Y-12 on July 28 and splashing human blood and spray-painting messages on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where most of the nation’s bomb-grade uranium is stored. [Read more…]

Y-12 protesters face new national defense charge, longer prison sentence

Transform Now Plowshares

The three anti-nuclear weapons activists pictured above allegedly cut through fences and vandalized a uranium storage building at the Y-12 National Security Complex in July and now face federal charges of property destruction, property depredation, and injuring national defense premises. From left to right the three are Michael R. Walli, Megan Rice, and Greg Boertje-Obed. (Submitted photo)

A new federal charge has been added against the three protesters who allegedly cut through fences at the Y-12 National Security Complex in July and splashed human blood and spray-painted slogans on a uranium storage building.

A three-count indictment returned against Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli adds a new count of injuring national-defense premises, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a Wednesday morning press release. The new charge carries a longer prison sentence of up to 20 years.

The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Knoxville on Tuesday supersedes the earlier three-count indictment from August.

The new indictment does not include the earlier trespassing charge. However, it does include the previous charges of property destruction and property depredation. Including all the charges, the protesters, who are opposed to Y-12’s nuclear weapons work, now face jail sentences of up to 35 years and fines of up to $750,000.

[Read more…]

Seeking delay, Y-12 protesters have Friday hearing in federal court

A Friday hearing has been scheduled for the three protesters accused of sneaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex on July 28 and spray-painting slogans and splashing human blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where bomb-grade uranium is stored.

The three protesters—Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael R. Walli—have asked Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley to delay their Oct. 10 trial in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

[Read more…]