Eight Convicted Of Trespassing In U.S. Senator’s Office
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Eight people who occupied the Minneapolis office of U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger to protest his stand on military aid to Nicaragua have been found guilty of trespassing.
A jury delivered the verdict Tuesday after a two-day trial before Judge James Johnston, whose sentence gave the eight a choice of paying a $100 fine or spending two days in jail. The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor charge is a $700 fine and 90 days in jail.
Six of the eight said they would go to jail and the other two said they would pay the fine, said Johnston’s court reporter, Jim Thiewes.
The eight Minneapolis residents were among more than 70 people who demonstrated Feb. 25 at the Republican senator’s office to protest his statement that he supports direct military aid to overthrow the Nicaraguan government.
They refused to leave the office because he would not agree to meet with them and others who oppose U.S. involvement in Central America.
Five of the defendants testified during the trial, but Assistant City Attorney Jim Tumulty said in his closing arguments that none of them cited any law that allowed them the right to violate trespassing laws.
In an emotional closing statement, defendant Nancy Mosier described herself as the mother of an 18-year-old son and said she was ″deeply concerned (he) will be called to kill people in Nicaragua.″
She said the crime she and the other defendants actually were charged with was ″an attempt to prevent murder, assault and genocide″ in Nicaragua.
Thiewes said Ms. Mosier was among the six who said they would serve the two-day jail term rather than pay the fine.