ust after 6 pm, we learned that the jury had reached a verdict.
All three defendants were found guilty of both counts against them: vandalism and sabotage. They could face a 20 year prison sentence.
All three will spend the night in the Blount County Detention Center. The judge asked the prosecutor if he wanted to allow them to bond out tonight, but the prosecutor said no. He reasoned that the three were found guilty of sabotage, which is a violent offense, so they should not be allowed to go free from court. A bond hearing is set for Thursday morning.
The jury is now deliberating in the federal trial of three protestors charged with breaking into and vandalizing the Y-12 complex last year.
They are considering two charges. The first is a vandalism charge, which neither side talked much about. They were more concerned with the more serious sabotage charge, which could carry a 20 year prison sentence.
In order to be found guilty of sabotage, the jury must believe that the three protestors went on to Y-12 property with the intent to interfere with nuclear security. That’s exactly what the prosecution contends. They also say the act damaged the credibility of Y-12 worldwide.
The defense says the act was symbolic, to raise global awareness about their hope for nuclear disarmament. They say it was a miracle that they made it as far as they did, that they never expected to get past the gate. They said if they’d really wanted to disrupt nuclear security, they would have been armed.
The defense also called at expert witness, retired Army colonel Ann Wright. She testified that she had reviewed the inspector general’s report of what happened, and in her opinion, did not believe the protestors were an actual security threat. She said in fact, the three did the country a favor be exposing severe security lapses at Y-12.