[Ppnews] Eugene - Report from Friday's Plea Deal hearing

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 24 12:45:14 EDT 2006

“Green Scare:” Report from Friday’s Plea Deal 
Hearings for Meyerhoff, Gerlach and Savoie

Yesterday, Friday July 21, at the US District 
Court in Eugene, Stanislas Meyerhoff, Chelsea 
Gerlach and Suzanne Savoie pled guilty to a 
number of charges. As with the pleas entered 
yesterday by Darren Thurston, Kevin Tubbs and 
Kendall Tankersley, the actual terms of the plea 
agreements and cooperation agreements entered 
today are “sealed,” which means that members of 
the public are not being allowed to view them. In 
addition, the transcripts of today’s hearings for 
the three are also under seal.

             Stanislas Meyerhoff pled guilty to 
54 counts from the District of Oregon indictment, 
plus eight charges from Colorado, which were 
transferred to the District of Oregon. The Oregon 
counts involve conspiracy, destruction of a 
federal energy facility, plus a number of arsons 
and attempted arsons—Childer’s Meat, Boise 
Cascade, a Eugene Police Department Public Safety 
Station, Superior Lumber Company, Romania 
Chevrolet Truck Center (counts 7-41) and 
Jefferson Poplar (42-54). The transferred 
Colorado charges involve the 1998 arson against 
ski resort expansion in Vail. During this 
hearing, the government seemed especially keen on 
connecting the Earth Liberation Front and the 
Animal Liberation Front to broader environmental 
efforts and movements; the state stressed that 
Meyerhoff and other defendants allegedly attended 
an Earth First! party directly after performing 
sabotage, and also that the Vail arson followed 
unsuccessful litigation and grassroots campaigns 
against ski resort development in the area.  The 
government also made a point of stressing that 
these defendants used the term "direct action" in 
reference to the arson incidents (again 
attempting to make hyperbolic inferences). 
Meyerhoff, who displayed what appeared to be 
mental instability during the proceeding, was 
keen to point out that he apparently “walked away 
from the ELF” in 2003, as he mentioned during 
what was supposed to be an account of his 
educational history. Meyerhoff’s suggested 
sentence is 188 months for the District of Oregon 
charges, with the Vail charges running concurrent 
(at the same time) pursuant to the joint 
recommendation.  Meyerhoff’s remaining charges, 
including those in Arizona, Wyoming, Michigan, 
the Eastern District of California and the 
Western District of Washington will be dismissed 
and no new related charges will be brought 
against him up until December 11, 2005. All the 
above government terms depend on Meyerhoff’s 
continuing cooperation for the rest of his 
life—this term applies to ALL of the defendants who have pled out so far.

             Chelsea Gerlach entered guilty pleas 
to 18 counts from the District of Oregon. These 
counts are for conspiracy, destruction of an 
energy facility, as well as arsons and attempted 
arsons—Childer’s Meat, Boise Cascade, a Eugene 
Police Department Public Safety Station, and 
Jefferson Poplar (6-18). Gerlach also entered 
guilty pleas for eight counts of arson from the 
1998 Vail action (Colorado charges transferred to 
the District of Oregon). Heavy mention of the 
deceased Bill Rogers was made in connection to 
the Vail arson during both Gerlach and 
Meyerhoff’s hearing. All Gerlach’s remaining 
charges were dropped, and Gerlach now faces a 
suggested sentence of 120 months imprisonment 
(120 months each for Colorado and District of 
Oregon, served concurrently), on the condition 
that she continues to cooperate. At the end of 
her hearing, Gerlach read a statement putting 
distance between her current beliefs and her 
prior convictions. Gerlach’s statement follows 
the plea hearings report, for informational purposes.

             Suzanne Savoie’s hearing was for the 
least amount of charges, but took a comparable 
amount of time due to missing legal papers, which 
provoked a lengthy intermission. Savoie’s 15 
counts were for conspiracy, arson and attempted 
arson at the Superior Lumber Company and 
Jefferson Poplar (counts 4-16). Savoie was given 
a 63-month suggested sentence, on the condition 
that she continues to cooperate fully with the 
government. All her other charges will be 
dismissed.  Savoie was seen crying in the courtroom during Gerlach's statement.

             Meyerhoff, Gerlach and Savoie are 
scheduled for formal sentencing on December 14, 2006.

             As with yesterday, the government 
announced that it will seek an upward sentencing 
enhancement pursuant to the federal 
anti-terrorism guidelines. This enhancement could 
carry an additional penalty of up to 30 years of 
prison time. Defense attorneys are expected to 
argue against such an enhancement, and federal 
Judge Ann Aiken will make the final decision at sentencing.
Still missing from the plea proceeding line 
up:  Jacob Ferguson, Jennifer Kolar and Lacey 
Philabaum, who have been extensively cooperating 
with the government but have yet to even be 
charged with any crime at this time... Stay tuned.
             For more information, updates and resources, visit cldc.org


Statement of Chelsea Gerlach

Thank you for the opportunity to say a few things.
I would like to first apologize to everyone who 
has been hurt by my actions. It was not my 
intention to hurt anyone or to invoke fear. I'm 
sorry my actions had that effect.
These actions were motivated by a deep sense of 
despair and anger at the deteriorating state of 
the global environment and the escalating 
inequities within society.  But I realized years 
ago this was not an effective or appropriate way 
to effect positive change. I now know that it is 
better to act from love than from anger, better 
to create than destroy and better to plant gardens than to burn down buildings.

I have taken responsibility for what I've done 
and will make amends by being a voice for peace 
in an increasingly hostile world.

Thank you.

The Freedom Archives
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