Sentencing Hearings End of May
The three Water Protectors who have entered non-cooperating plea agreements in their federal criminal cases have now all had their change of plea accepted by the judge and sentencing dates set.
Red Fawn Fallis is incarcerated in Rugby, ND awaiting sentencing on May 31, 2018. On January 22, 2018, she plead to Counts 1 and 3 of her indictment (Civil Disorder and Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon). Pursuant to her plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of no more than seven years and drop Count 2 (Discharge of a Firearm in Relation to a Felony Crime of Violence).
Michael Giron (Little Feather) is incarcerated in Rugby, ND awaiting sentencing on May 30, 2018. Under the terms of his plea agreement, the government will drop the Use of Fire to Commit a Federal Felony Offense charge and there will be a joint recommendation of 36 months in prison for Civil Disorder.
Michael Markus (Rattler) is out on supervised pretrial release awaiting sentencing on May 29, 2018. Under the terms of his plea agreement, the government will drop the Use of Fire to Commit a Federal Felony Offense charge and there will be a joint recommendation of 36 months in prison for Civil Disorder.
Each of these Water Protectors’ plea agreements relate only to each individual themselves and do not harm other Water Protectors or require any information to be given about others.
All of the Standing Rock federal criminal cases include one charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. Red Fawn, Little Feather and Rattler have each made the very difficult decision to enter into plea agreements that will result in substantial time in prison, but also mean that they are no longer facing up to 15 years, and in Red Fawn’s case, up to life in prison.
During each of the three change of plea hearings, the judge remarked on the very high rate of plea deals in federal criminal cases: 95% – 97%.
Red Fawn, Little Feather and Rattler will be the first Water Protectors to be sentenced to substantial prison terms for activity at Standing Rock. Water Protector Legal Collective stands by them all, and we call on Water Protectors and community members to continue to support them. Please see our Water Protector Prisoners page, and the links below to the support committees for information on how to write to them and other ways to be in solidarity with them through the sentencing process and as they serve time in prison.
Red Fawn and Little Feather are currently incarcerated, as is Dion Ortiz who is still awaiting trial on his federal charges. Rattler remains out on supervised pretrial release awaiting sentencing. All of the sentencing hearings will be in Bismarck federal court before Chief Judge Daniel L. Hovland.
*This statement may be excerpted or reproduced in full on the condition of proper attribution to: Water Protector Legal Collective.
Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) provides on-the-ground legal representation and coordination for Water Protectors engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, ND.