FARMINGTON – A Franklin County jury Tuesday found two Earth First! protesters guilty of failure to disperse at the conclusion of a 2-day trial in Franklin County Superior Court.
Willow Cordes-Eklund, 27, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Erik Gillard, 27, of Montpelier, Vt., were both sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $500 for their actions near the Gold Brook Road off Route 27 in northern Franklin County in July of 2010
The pair were among four arrested July 6, 2010, during an Earth First! protest of TransCanada’s wind turbine project on Kibby Mountain and trying to stop a similar development on neighboring Sisk Mountain.
Cordes-Eklund chained herself by the neck to an undercarriage of a truck that was hauling one of the blades to Kibby Mountain. Gillard was accused of stepping up on the running board of the driver’s side of the truck and trying to reach inside after a Border Patrol agent told him to stop.
In his opening statements Franklin County Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said the protest was a planned effort to stop the truck carrying the turbine blade after they were repeatedly told not to go near the truck.
Defense attorney Phil Worden, representing Cordes-Eklund, said the basic facts of the case were not disputed, but what is challenged is whether they committed the crime of failure to disperse.
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