FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Deputy Chris Dugger Confirms Lack of Evidence to Support RNC 8 Conspiracy Charges

by Webmaster ~ May 17th, 2010. Filed under: Court Dates, News, Press Releases.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 17, 2010

Contact: Jude Ortiz (RNC 8 Defense Committee), 612.886.4565, press@rnc8.org; Attorney: Larry Leventhal, 612.333.5747

Deputy Chris Dugger Confirms Lack of Evidence to Support RNC 8 Conspiracy Charges
FBI Informant Andrew Darst Evades Initial Subpoena, May Be Compelled to Appear on June 9

St. Paul, Minn. — On Friday, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Dugger took the stand and testified about his experience infiltrating the RNC Welcoming Committee beginning in 2007. Despite the large number of meetings he attended and time spent personally with the defendants, Dugger could not point to any evidence that the defendants engaged in conspiracies to commit criminal damage to property and riot. Rather, Dugger testified that he learned that anarchists live by their beliefs and seek to support each other, as they supported him despite skepticism of his intentions during his undercover investigation.

Like the previous witnesses, Dugger failed to link the defendants to any conspiracy to do anything,” said Melissa Hill of the RNC 8 Defense Committee. “Dugger testified that he started infiltrating the group in October 2007 and spent substantial personal time with some of the defendants but couldn’t recall them advocating violence towards people or the destruction of property.”

Dugger also appeared confused by the satirical press release issued by the RNC Welcoming Committee about Tasers, which was in response to news of the St. Paul Police Department outfitting all its officers with Tasers in preparation for the convention. Also, during questioning by the defense attorney Bruce Nestor, Dugger admitted that he would engage in potentially inciting rhetoric such as “I want to kick cops asses” and “I hate police.” Dugger was later rewarded for his role as an informant in the Welcoming Committee with a full-time position as a Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy. The prosecution elected not to cross-examine Dugger since he had no useful information to strengthen their quickly eroding case against the eight defendants.

Judge Teresa Warner is expected to release a ruling soon on the defendants’ subpoena of paid FBI informant Andrew Darst and request to force his appearance in court after he evaded the subpoena last week. The defense attorneys argued that Darst failed to keep a current address on record with his probation officer and only appears to be reachable through his FBI handler, Agent Steve Molesky. Darst continues to receive a $1,500 monthly stipend from the FBI to be available for the RNC 8 trial. Prosecutor Derek Fitch tried to argue against Darst testifying but finally resorted to requesting that he not be arrested if compelled to appear after the defense presented its arguments for why he should be required to comply with the subpoena like any other witness subpoenaed to court.

Fitch’s desperate attempt to keep Darst from taking the stand is a sign of how flimsy the State’s case is,” Hill continued. “You can practically hear the fear in his voice that Darst’s testimony will be the nail in the coffin that causes the judge to throw out the cases.”

The RNC 8 will return to court on June 9 for a make-up hearing, with July 9 as a back-up date. Watch our twitter account (@defendthernc8) and http://www.rnc8.org for updates. Copies of the motions and detailed notes from the hearings are located at http://www.rnc8.org/info.

The previous May hearing press releases are located at:

May 4: http://rnc8.org/2010/05/for-immediate-release-rnc-8-argue-motion-to-dismiss-felony-conspiracy-charges-for-lack-of-probable-cause/

May 5: http://rnc8.org/2010/05/for-immediate-release-three-ramsey-county-sheriff%e2%80%99s-deputies-take-the-stand-in-full-day-of-rnc-8-probable-cause-hearing/

May 6: http://rnc8.org/2010/05/for-immediate-release-undercover-deputy-marilyn-hedstrom-testifies-to-lack-of-evidence-against-the-rnc-8/

May 14: http://rnc8.org/2010/05/for-immediate-release-deputy-jay-maher-testifies-to-lack-of-evidence-to-substantiate-rnc-8-conspiracy-charges/

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