Department of Energy, DOE, Manhattan Project, nuclear, nuclear weapons, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Three, protests, security breach, technology, Tennessee, U.S, U.S. Government, United States, Y-12 complex
See short news video here: http://bcove.me/aquny77w
ust after 6 pm (Wed., May 8), we learned that the jury had reached a verdict.
All three will spend the night in the Blount County Detention Center. The judge asked the prosecutor if he wanted to allow them to bond out tonight, but the prosecutor said no. He reasoned that the three were found guilty of sabotage, which is a violent offense, so they should not be allowed to go free from court. A bond hearing is set for Thursday morning.
The jury is now deliberating in the federal trial of three protestors charged with breaking into and vandalizing the Y-12 complex last year.
They are considering two charges. The first is a vandalism charge, which neither side talked much about. They were more concerned with the more serious sabotage charge, which could carry a 20 year prison sentence.
In order to be found guilty of sabotage, the jury must believe that the three protestors went on to Y-12 property with the intent to interfere with nuclear security. That’s exactly what the prosecution contends. They also say the act damaged the credibility of Y-12 worldwide.
The defense says the act was symbolic, to raise global awareness about their hope for nuclear disarmament. They say it was a miracle that they made it as far as they did, that they never expected to get past the gate. They said if they’d really wanted to disrupt nuclear security, they would have been armed.
Closing arguments are expected to begin after lunch on Wednesday, in the federal trial of three protestors charged with breaking into and vandalizing the Y-12 complex last year.
The prosecution rested late Tuesday, so Wednesday morning, the defense began presenting their case.
All three of the suspects, Michael Walli, Greg Boerje-Obed, and Sister Megan Rice testified in their own defense. All three spoke about the intentions of the break-in. They called it a “symbolic act”, not a security threat. They said they wanted to “transform Y-12” and bring peace and healing to an operation they regard as being against the will of God.
The prosecution disputes that, saying the three disrupted operations at Y-12, even temporarily halting the mission of a secret convoy transporting nuclear materials to the complex that day.
The defense also called at expert witness, retired Army colonel Ann Wright. She testified that she had reviewed the inspector general’s report of what happened, and in her opinion, did not believe the protestors were an actual security threat. She said in fact, the three did the country a favor be exposing severe security lapses at Y-12.
After lunch, closing arguments are expected to begin, then the judge will give the jury their instructions before they can begin their deliberations.
Because this is a federal trial, cameras are not allowed in the courtroom, but we will bring you the very latest on 10News at 5 and on WBIR.com.
The defense is expected to continue presenting its case Wednesday in the trial of three peace protesters accused of breaking into the Y-12 Complex last July.
Authorities charged Michael Walli, Greg Boerje-Obed, and Sister Megan Rice with sabotage and damage of property.
Prosecutors rested their cased Tuesday after several men who worked as security officers at the time of the break-in testified.
The defense called Rice as its first witness Tuesday.
She told the court the trio did not create a plan as to what it would do once it encountered security personel in Y-12.
She later told reporters she was encouraged by the day’s proceedings.