Jury seated in Y-12 break-in trial

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A jury has been seated in the Y-12 break-in trial. Eight men and four women will decide the fate of the three activists charged with breaking into and defacing Y-12 last year.

Monday afternoon protesters gathered outside the Howard Baker, Jr., Courthouse in support of the accused.

Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli are all members of the Transform Now Plowshares Movement. Last July, police say, they cut through multiple fences and made their way to a weapons-grade storage facility without getting caught.

Once inside, they allegedly spent several minutes putting up banners and splashing blood onto the building before getting caught.

The three don't deny breaking in to the facility. They claim they come from a Christian background where the production of nuclear weapons is inconsistent with the Bible. They also argue Y-12 is a violation of U.S. and international law.

Boertje-Obed told Local 8 News, if your country is involved in killing innocent civilians, you have a right to stop it. That's why he said they did what they did.

He hopes the jury will listen to their explanation and agree with them. Each of them faces a three-count indictment of trespassing, destruction, and depredation of federal property and sentences up to 16 years.

The break-in sent shockwaves throughout the community because all three were senior citizens who made it onto the property without any highly-advanced technology and weren't detected for a while. It quickly led to several security changes at the plant - some of which are still being debated to this day.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story identified the blood as pig's blood. It was, in fact, human blood.


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