Notes from Tuesday’s Rhinelander Arraignment

July 31, 2008 at 7:36 pm (Announcements and Advisories, Rhinelander)

from comrades in Madison who attended:

Notes from the 7/29/08 Rhineland Arraignment, Federal Court, Madison, WI

Before U.S. Magistrate Judge: Stephen Crocker

Marshalls asked all audience members to sit in the second row (not first row). Audience included some of Aaron Ellringer’s coworkers from Eau Claire and a few Madison activists.

Defense attorneys present:
Michael Lieberman for Aaron Ellringer
Michael Lieberman
Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, Inc.
222 West Washington Ave.
Suite 300
Madison, WI 53703
608-260-9901 (fax)

Mark Maciolek for Katherine Christianson (brought to WI from NM)
Mark Maciolek
Samuel Phillip Law Offices, LLC
22 North Carroll St. #313
Madison, WI 53703
608-661-8507 (fax)

Reed Cornea for Bryan River (not present, still being held in custody in
Washington state, coming to WI?)
Reed Cornia
Cornia Law, LLC
1213 North Sherman Avenue
P.O. Box 354
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 242-0096
(608) 242-0098 (fax)

Federal Prosecutor:
Meredith P Duchemin
United States Attorney’s Office
660 West Washington Avenue, #303
Madison, WI 53703
608-264-5054 (fax)

Grand Jury charges read – two counts:
First count under title 18, sec. 371, carries penalty of 5 years, $250,000 fine
Second count under title 18, sec. 2 & 1361, carries penalty of 10 years, $250,000 fine

Aaron Ellringer and Katherine Christianson both pled not guilty to charges.

Likely to go before Judge Crabb (note: Judge Crabb also dealt with the arrests of 29 anti-Crandon Mine protesters from the EF! Round River rendezvous back in 1997… we can get more info on the judge’s behavior in that case) Back up option is Judge Moody, though that is unlikely since Moody is
not really doing criminal cases right now.

Much discussion about release conditions for defendants between defense, prosecution, and the judge.
Judge pushed for no travel restrictions – Aaron Ellringer needs to go to CO to help his parents move back to WI. Both Aaron Ellringer and Katherine Chistianson surrendered their passports.

Judge Crocker explained in detail the “notice of penalties/sanctions” on the second last page of the release order. This includes threat of additional criminal charges if the defendants:
1.)fail to appear in court
2.)engage in obstruction of justice – specifically destroying evidence and/or tampering with witnesses
3.)being charged with any other criminal offense while this case is underway
The federal prosecutor Duchemin, expressed concern about defendants’ tampering with witnesses… Also, the prosecutor expected that some evidence would be challenged by the defense, specifically some confession (???)

More discussion about time table for pre trial hearings. Federal prosecutor. Duchemin, predicts case will take two days. Judge Crocker reluctant to push case back into early 2009, wants to deal with it this fall – in conjunction with Pineta case (??? – not sure what this is, another grand jury indictment? Case 100 somehow related to Case 105? – apparently, DA Maciolek is involved in this other case, as well… need to talk to him!)

Tentative pre-trial evidentiary hearing to deal with meritorious motions, etc. set for Oct. 8th 10:30 am
Tentative final hearing set for Nov. 14th 10:30 am

Briefly spoke with Aaron Ellringer and DA Maciolek afterward to tell them that we are available for any help – such as turning people out for the hearings and/or generating letters to the judge if those are useful at any point.

We are also starting to collect legal defense funds for this case through:
Madison GDC
P.O. Box 2442
Madison, WI 53701
(which has already sent some $$$ for the Marie Mason Green Scare case in OH). A legal defense fundraiser is already being organized in northern WI by friends of Aaron Ellringer. Since he is also a
Wobbly, we will be contacting other IWW branches for their support.

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