Government Drops Charges Against Allison Lance Watson; Watson Plead Guilty to Refusing to Testify

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has dropped perjury charges against Allison Lance Watson after a clerk apparently destroyed the only existing copy of a transcript of discussions in the grand jury room before and after Watson testified.

Watson was reportedly asked whether or not an associate of hers, Gina Lynn, was ever a passenger or drive in a truck that Watson had rented during a period when two acts of animal rights terrorism were carried out in Washington state. Watson reportedly answered no, but the FBI has surveillance footage showing Lynn in the truck.

Watson’s defense at trial was apparently going to be that the U.S. Attorney had tricked her into perjuring herself. To that end, the judge hearing the case ordered the U.S. Attorney’s office to turn over a transcript of discussion within the grand jury room immediately before and after Watson testified.

But the U.S. Attorney was forced to drop the charges after a clerk apparently destroyed 10 years worth of grand jury transcripts made when a witness was not in the room. The clerk apparently falsely believed that electronic backups of the transcripts existed and destroyed the records when the U.S. Attorney’s office recently moved to a new building.

Watson was then ordered again to testify to the grand jury on Sept. 2 which she refused to do. She plead guilty on Sept. 9 to misdemeanor contempt charges for failing to answer the grand jury’s questions.


No perjury charges vs. animal activist. Paul Shukovsky, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 9, 2004.

Allison Lance Watson Charge with Lying to Grand Jury

On January 14, Allison Lance-Watson — wife of Sea Shepherd activist Paul Watson — was arrested and charged with lying to a federal grand jury investigating a May 2000 arson at a Washington timber company.

Watson was called before a grand jury in October and given immunity from prosecution in order to compel her testimony.

During her grand jury testimony, Watson was asked about the use of a truck that the Watsons rented in May 2000 to haul equipment between Washington and California offices of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Specifically, Watson was asked whether the truck was always in Watson’s possession and whether she loaned it to anyone. Watson answered no to both inquiries. Then, she was asked whether or not Gina Lynn — an associate of Watson’s, was ever in the truck. Watson again answered no.

The problem for Watson is that the FBI has surveillance video tape of the truck at a Washington mini-mart only 12 miles and a few hours removed from the arson. The video tape apparently shows Lynn and animal rights extremist Joshua Trentor in the truck. Moreover, the occupants of the truck dumped five plastic bags full of clothes, ski masks, gloves, and a wrapper from a pair of bolt cutters.

Watson was released after posting bond. If convicted, she could face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.


Animal rights activist arrested. Paul Shukovsky, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 15, 2004.