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by mary shelton
Tuesday, Feb. 06, 2001 at 7:22 PM
After spending three days traveling from Texas on a Greyhound bus, Frank Esposito was sentenced to 90 days in jail, for his role in the 91 freeway demonstration.
Frank Esposito raced against the clock to make his courtdate, and traveled for three days on a greyhound bus to face Judge Robert Spitzer to receive his setence. Standing beside him were his fellow activists, Larry Halstead and Michael Molver, who watched as Spitzer sentenced Esposito to 90 days straight time in the Riverside County jail, to be served immediately.
The bailiff placed the shackles on Esposito and led him off to be booked into the Robert Presley Center, where his case will be reviewed after he has served 30 days for early release. He also was sentenced to three years formal probation. Spitzer alluded to two prior failure to appears as reason for the sentence, and he had a suspended $10,000 bench warrent on his head.
Esposito took his case to trial several months ago, and was convicted of committing disorderly conduct, and being a public nuisance when he and 50 other people walked onto the 91 freeway after it had been shut down, and praying for justice in the shooting death of Tyisha Miller. District Attorney Grover Trask, the subject of much protest in the city for refusing to file murder charges against the four officers who killed Miller, chose 20 of the most vocal activists for criminal prosecution. Esposito fought his charges in court, but the jury convicted him after deliberating only 15 minutes, and as the jury forewoman said later, she believed the officers were right to kill Miller because she had a gun.
Esposito talked of how he had educated fellow bus riders about the ongoing activities in Riverside, otherwise known as "Railroad County." And how it is to live in a county where you can kill a black woman helpless in her car, if you wear a badge and remain free, but if you protest her death too vocally, you can be placed in jail.
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