Prosecutor to offer large volume of sabotage evidence
Defense attorneys for two people charged with a series of acts of sabotage in Washington state and Oregon said Monday they would seek the...
The Associated Press
EUGENE, Ore. — Defense attorneys for two people charged with a series of acts of sabotage in Washington state and Oregon said Monday they would seek the defendants' release based on a lack of hard evidence provided so far by the government beyond the statements of two informants who took part in the attacks.
But a federal prosecutor replied he would begin providing more than 1,000 pages of evidence by the end of the week.
Chelsea Gerlach, 28, of Portland and Kevin Tubbs, 36, of Springfield, Ore., appeared briefly in U.S. District Court, where pleas of not guilty were entered on their behalf to new indictments.
Gerlach is being held without bail on charges she helped topple a Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) transmission tower outside Bend, Ore., and helped firebomb a meatpacking plant in Eugene and a tree farm in Clatskanie, Ore.
Tubbs is accused of firebombing 35 sport-utility vehicles at a Eugene car dealership and a U.S. Department of Agriculture research office in Olympia.
They are among six people arrested in four states this month on charges they took part in attacks by the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front in Oregon and Washington. Gerlach also was named by authorities as a suspect in a 1998 firebombing of a ski resort in Vail, Colo., that did $12 million in damage and in a 2001 arson that severely damaged the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle.
Defense attorney Craig Weinerman told U.S. Magistrate Thomas Coffin he would file a motion today seeking Gerlach's release on bail. He said the motion would challenge the credibility of two government informants who allegedly took part in setting the fires. Weinerman characterized the informants as "serial arsonists."
A similar motion would be filed on behalf of Tubbs, according to his lawyer, Marc Friedman.
Coffin said he would hear the motion on behalf of Gerlach on Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall said he had five people working on more than 1,000 pages of evidence. He said he hoped to begin releasing copies to the defense by Friday.
Coffin also set trial dates for the two defendants.
Trial was set for Gerlach on Feb. 28 on the charges that she helped topple the BPA tower in December 1999. Her trial on the charges in the 1999 fire at Childers Meat Co. in Eugene was set for March 15, while her trial on charges in the Jefferson Poplar Farms firebombing in Clatskanie in May 2001 will be March 28.
Tubbs was set for trial Feb. 21 for the fires at the Romania Chevrolet Truck Center in March 2001.
Coffin said Tubbs would not go to Seattle to face trial in the 1998 fire at the USDA research station in Olympia until after the Oregon case is resolved.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.