On June 15, seven animal rights activists accused of interstate stalking and other crimes related to their activities against Huntingdon Life Sciences were formally arraigned in a New Jersey court. The arraignment lasted only 10 minutes, but drew a few dozen protesters and provided some interesting information into what sort of evidence the government might have against the seven.
Kevin Kjonaas, Josh Harper, Lauran Gazzola, Jacob Conroy, Darius Fullmer, John McGee, and Andrew Stepanian all plead not guilty to all charges. U.S. District Judge Mary Cooper set a tentative trial date of August 17, though that will almost certainly be pushed back at the request of the defendants’ attorneys.
One of the interesting tidbits that came out during the arraignment was that federal authorities had wiretaped and videotaped at least some of the seven activists. According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger,
Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna, who is prosecuting the case, said the evidence includes phone wiretaps and surveillance that yielded 440 cassettes and 50 videotapes.
Some of the protesters were also of interest. According to the New Jersey Star Ledger’s account,
“I came here because this is a travesty of justice,” said David Lambon, 31, of Norristown, Pa. Lambon said he was an independent activist and a college student “between schools.”
That would have been accurate if only Lambon had said he was between arrests. Lambon was one of 11 activists arrested in Pennsylvania on May 29 at a demonstration outside the home of a pharmaceutical company executive.
Animal rights activists deny targeting lab. John P. Martin and Brian T. Murray, New Jersey Star-Ledger, June 16, 2004.
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