On Thursday, July 5th, over a dozen supporters attended a hearing at the Santa Cruz Courthouse for five of the Santa Cruz Eleven; Gabriella Riply-Phipps, Becky Johnson, Robert Norse, Desiree Foster, and Brent Adams.
Judge Paul Burdick, one of three judges who have presided over the case filed against eleven individuals for their alleged involvement in the occupation of 75 River St., said the papers submitted by Assistant District Attorney Rebekah Young did not address the question of timeliness for filing a 170.6 challenge. Judge Burdick ruled against the DA’s “untimely” 170.6 motion seeking to have him dismissed from the case.
Judge Burdick, who previously expressed that he would rather not have to preside over this case anymore, stated, “Once again, we are stuck with each other Ms. Young.”
DA Young apologized to Judge Burdick for not addressing the issue of timeliness in her brief supporting her 170.6 motion.
The preliminary hearing for Becky Johnson and Gabriella Ripley-Phipps was then consolidated with the preliminary hearing scheduled on Monday, August 20th for Robert Norse, Brent Adams, and Desiree Foster. A confirmation hearing was set for Friday, August 17th at 9 AM.
Bryan Hackett, the lawyer representing Ripley-Phipps, requested that Judge Burdick grant her permission to leave California for 10 days in July. Ripley-Phipps was given permission to travel to southern Oregon, as requested.
David Beauvais, the lawyer representing Robert Norse, requested that Norse be allowed to walk on the sidewalk outside 75 River St., and permission was granted. Attorney Daniel Clymo, representing Becky Johnson, requested that Johnson be allowed to walk on the sidewalk outside 75 River St. as well. Judge Burdick granted permission to Johnson and extended it to all the defendants. “People can use the sidewalk,” Judge Burdick declared, “but not congregate” he quickly added.
Presumably, this applies to Franklin Alcantara and Cameron Laurendeau as well. All charges against Alcantara, Laurendeau, Grant Wilson, and Edward Rector were dismissed by Judge Burdick at a preliminary hearing on April 25th, however the DA refiled all charges against Alcantara and Laurendeau. Their new preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, July 23rd before Judge Ariadne Symons.
Outside the courtroom, Gabriella Ripley-Phipps stated, “It’s hard to show up thinking something will happen, and nothing really does. This has been going on for five months. I wonder how much longer it will take? I’d love to see how much money this is costing them so far.” On a positive note, Gabriella said, “I really like my lawyer. Bryan’s cool.”
Becky Johnson estimates that she has attended about fifteen or sixteen hearings for the Santa Cruz Eleven. Johnson explained, “I should have had my preliminary hearing on June 25th, but because of her [Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Young] shenanigans, I have to wait until August 20th.”
Johnson concluded that, “the prosecution is the punishment,” and “empty buildings are the crime.”
Bradley Stuart Allen is a photographer, Indymedia volunteer and website developer living in Santa Cruz, California. Bradley, a longtime volunteer photojournalist and editor for Indybay.org, is one of the Santa Cruz Eleven. All charges against Bradley were legally unjustified, but politically motivated by corrupt Santa Cruz police and district attorneys. All charges against Bradley Stuart Allen and Alex Darocy were dismissed on May 14th, 2012, thanks to their legal support and organizations including the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ NorCal), and the American Civil Liberties Union (Santa Cruz County and Northern California ACLU).