Guilty as charged in Y-12 sabotage and vandalism trial

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --The jury in the Y-12 sabotage and vandalism trial returned a guilty on all charges verdict against the three protesters who broke in last summer.

Lawyers for the three nuclear activists arrested for breaking into and defacing Y-12 last year wrapped up their case before the judge charged the jury Wednesday afternoon.

All three defendents, Greg Boertje-Obed, Meagan Rice, and Michael Walli, ended up taking the stand. They were accused of cutting through multiple fences and making their way to a weapons-grade storage facility. Once inside, they spent several minutes putting up banners and splashing blood onto the building before getting caught.

Also testifying on their behalf was a State Dept. employee who worked at several embassies during the George W. Bush administration and later became a peace protestor herself. Ret. Col. Ann Wright explained to jurors why she doesn't think the the allegations against the three consitutes a threat to national security.

On Tuesday, Sister Meagan Rice took the stand giving a background into her long education and year's spent teaching in Africa. She said she had no worries trespassing onto Y-12 property.

"I kept my mind clear. Clearly we were led by the spirit of God," said Rice.

Rice said she's spent years trying to beat the "culture of silence and culture of secrecy."

The three don't deny breaking in to the facility. In the defense's opening statements, in fact, their lawyers pointed out that they were able to do with household items.

The defense emphasized that they must not have been much of a threat because the security guard who stopped them was authorized to use lethal force, but did not

Prosecutors, though, asserted that not only did they break in and cause damage in excess of a $1,000, they also intended to interfere or obstruct national defense.

Each is charged with intent to injure, interfere and obstruct national defense, as well as, depredation exceeding $1000 in damages to U.S. property. They each face 25 years in prison.

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


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