Mandan, ND – On January 22nd, 2018, Red Fawn Fallis’s plea agreement was accepted by North Dakota Chief Judge Hovland. The agreement, made between her defense team and federal prosecutors, dropped the most serious charge of “discharge of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence.” Fallis pled guilty to the remaining charges of ‘Civil Disorder and ‘Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon.’ Red Fawn Fallis is expected to have a sentencing hearing sometime in May.
The US prosecutors have suggested no more than seven years in prison as part of the agreement. Leading up to todays hearing, Fallis was arrested by US Marshals on January 18th, 2018 for alleged violations of her pretrial release. The violation stemmed from her “remaining unaccounted for an entire day” at a halfway house she has resided in Fargo, North Dakota. During the plea hearing, Judge Hovland and Assistant US attorney Gary Delorem said that in conversations with the halfway house, staff described Fallis as a “model resident” with “exemplary behavior.”
Red Fawn Fallis’s plea hearing came a day after federal defendant Michael ‘Rattler’ Markus’s legal team announced a similar plea agreement. Rattler’s change of plea hearing is scheduled for February 13th, 2018.
Despite the thousands who gathered to support the indigenous-led movement to defend the Missouri River, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) continues to operate. Since coming online, the pipeline has leaked five times.
Recently FOIA’d documents suggest a collusion between the Army Corps and Dakota Access LLC to help make a legally adequate environmental justice analysis, which Dakota Access failed to prepare. The Army Corps asked Dakota Access to specifically address issues Water Protectors highlighted during the months of protests, such as treaty rights granting use of the Missouri River’s waterways for hunting and fishing, and racially motivated worries of the move of the pipeline just north of a predominately white Bismarck, North Dakota, to just north of a reservation with an 84 percent Native population.
The issues raised by the Army Corps to Dakota Access LLC were barred from being discussed in court if Red Fawn Fallis’s trial would have gone forward. If the trial had occurred, no discussion of “prior treaty agreements” between the Lakota and the United States would have been discussed.
Red Fawn Fallis was arrested October 27th, 2016 when militarized police forces evicted what water protectors called the ‘1851 Treaty Camp.’ According to indigenous groups, the camp was setup in the pathway on the Dakota Access Pipeline to exert treaty rights, which the United States Constitution enshrines as “the supreme law of the land.” Their protest and treaty claims were met with a militarized police force.
Unicorn Riot will continue to follow #NoDAPL trials and update you on their outcomes.
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