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Eric McDavid Court Report, Day 4 and 5, Sept. 17th and 18th

by Sacramento Prisoner Support Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2007 at 4:15 PM

Report from days 4 and 5

Day 4: September 17

Testimony of FBI Special Agent Krause

The day began with testimony from FBI Special Agent (SA) Richard Krause. He testified on his background, his training and the search of the Cabin that Eric, Zach, Lauren and “Anna” occupied. SA Krause said that he has been in the FBI 4 ½ years and is currently posted in Houston. In January of 2006 he was posted in Sacramento and participated in the search of the Dutch Flat Cabin on January 14. He stated that he learned how to properly execute a search warrant from a class at the FBI academy and that he had participated in roughly a dozen prior searches. He testified that the cabin was secured by a highway patrol office monitoring it on video from the time the trio were arrested on January 13 and the time of the search on January 14. He described the protocol for executing a search warrant and explained the role of the custodian of evidence. SA Krause was the custodian of evidence in this search and he stated that his job was to look at evidence in the location in which it was discovered in order to be able to testify about it later. United States Attorney (USA) Ellen Endrezzi presented SA Krause with a variety of photographs labeled government exhibits 35A-35BB. These photos were of various items found in the cabin. The items included mason jars, bleach, car battery, spray paint, sugar, Vaseline, shotgun shells, laptop, chemistry set, sifter, salt substitute, nimbus fish hatchery brochure, an article about Ryan Lewis, IDs and Zines. SA Krause indicated that over 100 photos had been taken but that not all evidence was photographed. On his cross examination SA Krause indicated that many of the photographs shown in court were not of photographs of objects in the locations in which they were found. Different items were grouped together and photographed by the FBI agents conducting the search.

Testimony of Lauren Weiner

Lauren’s direct examination was done by United States Attorney (USA) Steve Lapham. The USA asked her if she was getting anything in exchange for her testimony and she said that she was getting a deal with a 5 year maximum. She testified that she planned using explosives on different sites and that she conspired with Eric and Zach to do so. She discussed how she met Zach and Eric at a biotech protest in Philadelphia in June of 2005. She stated that she wanted to start a house, do banner drops and graffiti. She stated that at the time she felt protesting was not working but she wanted to make change. She testified that Eric told her that he and Anna discussed direct action and that she should contact Anna. Lauren stated that she and Anna talked a lot and that she was a “good friend”. She said that when she talked with Zach and Eric they discussed “boom”. The USA asked her what “boom” was and she said it was explosives. The USA asked her why she didn’t use the word explosives and she said “it’s a scary word”. The USA asked her if she knew Eric and Zach’s real names and she said that she did not know Eric’s but that she did know Zach’s. Lauren stated that when she told Anna about meeting with Eric and Zach to discuss their ideas Anna acted surprised and excited. She testified that Zach and Eric had left town at the end of the summer but that she kept in contact with them through myspace and e-mail respectively. She said she was having trouble with her roommate, hated art school and wanted out of Philadelphia. She testified that she missed “the boys” and hoped to go out west to see them because “I wanted to continue traveling like we were last summer”. She said that she asked Anna for a ride “because I had no other way out there”. Lauren testified that Anna called her and said she had an extra plane ticket and “that it was a free plane ride to California and I missed the guys” and “I didn’t see what I had to lose”. Lauren stated that when they all met in November they were excited to see each other and catch up. She said that Eric and Anna slept in the living room together. She stated that the next night they hung out and talked about ideas for direct actions, justification for them, the ELF and various possible targets. Later in her testimony, Lauren claimed that Anna purchased wine for the group that weekend and that she thinks everyone drank some (she was not 21 at the time). Lauren stated that Eric quoted something Derrick Jensen said and she asked him for the interview. Lauren said she recalled Eric saying what they were talking about was illegal and that they could go to jail. When asked by the USA what she thought of that she said “at that point in my mind, everything seemed illegal”. Lauren said they talked about scouting out cell phone towers as targets and that she had some photos of cell phone towers in New York. The USA asked Lauren about who brought up the “tree factory” or the Institute of Forestry Genetics (IFG) as a topic. She stated that Eric and Anna had discussed it. At that point the USA asked her if it was Eric’s idea and she said she did not know. The USA showed her a government exhibit which was an article about genetically modified trees and asked her if she remembered it. He asked her who brought it and she said she didn’t know. The USA pressed her further on it and she said they had all brought zines and she didn’t know whose zines were whose. The USA asked Lauren about Eric’s explosive recipe. She said that it sounded “more like a heresay recipe than anything concrete” and so she decided to look for recipes herself. The USA asked Lauren about “going underground”. She stated that a loose discussion took place on this issue, but that “nothing was really decided upon”. She said that she and Eric both discussed how they were dealing with difficult family issues and would have a hard time not having contact with their families. The USA asked Lauren to explain “security culture” to the jury and she described it as not talking about illegal activity. The USA asked her about the discussion about claiming their actions for the ELF and she said it never came to any conclusion. He asked Lauren if it was clear to her that everyone knew the ELF guidelines and she said “I don’t know”. She said that their attitude about that was: we’ll see when we get there. The USA asked her what her plan was for their next meeting and she said it was to start planning. She testified that after their meeting in California in November of 2005 she bought “The Poor Man’s James Bond” and “The Survival Chemist” with her credit card online. Lauren stated that Anna came to pick her and Zach up in DC so they could come out to California in January. She testified that she believed Eric really loved Anna and thought for a long time that they were in a relationship. Later she testified that it always seemed like they had secrets with each other. She said that they had all talked about not getting together since they would be living in close quarters. The USA asked Lauren how the burn book was created. She said Anna showed up with the “burn book” and had written six explosives recipes. She said that she was surprised and disturbed because she didn’t want to write things down. Lauren stated that Anna replied they would burn the book when they were done with it. She said Eric immediately agreed with Anna even though he had opposed writing things down on an earlier occasion. The USA then asked Lauren about if they all discussed the death of civilians. She said yes, that “it scared the shit out of me to think about it”. He asked what Eric’s feeling about it were and she said “to take all necessary precautions to avoid it”. He asked her what actions they discussed and she said the following: unspecified action against world bank, going into a bank and burning all the money, going to a bank and gluing the locks and ATMs, cause a blackout in the bay area, IFG, Huntington Life Sciences action, gas stations, getting rid of dams by the ocean so salmon can spawn and hijacking a truck full of jam and spilling it all over the road to jam up traffic. She stated repeatedly throughout her testimony that they never came to any agreement on a target(s) at anytime. She said that government buildings were not really discussed. She stated that they went to the Nimbus fish hatchery and discussed blowing the gates off the fish ladders “somehow”. Lauren testified that they looked at the dam from the bike trail and she said they should go out in the desert and try pouring concrete and testing an explosive on that. Lauren also said that she went with Anna, Eric and Zach to the Institute of Forestry Genetics (IFG) and presented themselves as students at American River College. She said that the person who gave tours was not available and so they did a self guided tour until they ran into the tour guide. She states that she was looking at the positions of the cameras and Eric was sketching the layout of the place. Lauren stated that they all went to San Francisco together to visit friends, to go to the library to do research and to look for supplies. She said they weren’t able to find what they were looking for and so they had to go to a Walmart along the way, but still couldn’t find everything. She stated that due to these circumstances one more shopping trip was required.

Lauren testified that she met Zach and Eric at a bike space in Philadelphia and that they later introduced her to Anna at a really really really really free market in a park. She stated that she let Eric, Zach and Anna stay with her and talked to them about how/why they traveled. She testified that Zach, Eric and herself all had very little money and dumpster dived, begged, hopped trains, hitch hiked and ate at soups kitchens at various points in time. She further testified that Anna bought them meals and groceries whenever she saw them, that she drove them from West Virginia and to Bloomington for the 2005 crimethinc convergence and that once they were there she bought them tents. She also loaned Lauren money at that point and stated that she had lots of money because she was a stripper. Lauren testified that when Anna stayed at her house during the biotech protest of June 2005 she bought them all goggles and vinegar and said they should use it if they got tear gassed. Lauren testified that Zach and Eric were good, gentle people who always shared and were honest. Eric’s attorney Mark Reichel asked Lauren how she felt about flying and she stated that it was painful for her because she had inner ear problems and had panic attacks in places like airports. Mark asked her about about her time in jail and her agreement to testify. She said that she was in solitary confinement and that she was miserable. She stated that she was granted bail but began cooperating before she left jail. She said she agreed to cooperate to get a sentence reduction. She acknowledged that the government keeps postponing her sentencing until after Eric's trial, and that she doesn't want them to be unhappy during her sentencing. She testified again that there was not agreement on targets, on claiming the action for the ELF or on a definite time to meet again. She stated that after the November meeting Eric was reluctant to meet, that Anna was trying to get in touch with him and that he was difficult to keep in touch with. Lauren testified that the night before their arrest Anna got angry at them and left because of “lack of plans”. Lauren testified that she worked with Zach and Eric on a schedule to prepare for an action in order to appease Anna. She also testified that she and Eric were extremely high at the time that this document was written in the “burn book”. She said “It was very good marijuana and I was not in a good state of mind so I don’t remember much”. Lauren stated that they never reached an agreement on a recipe that they should use. She was also upset that the group had no fixed goals and no target agreed upon. She said that Zach was hesitating and reluctant to move faster, which also upset Anna.

Lauren testified that “Anna paid for most group things” including the items they tried unsuccessfully to make explosives with. Lauren said “She had lots of 0” and would give them to Eric to go in and buy things, so that he would be paying for stuff but it would be her money. Lauren stated that Anna also brought a big chemistry set to the cabin, though no one asked her too. Lauren testified that Anna taught Eric how to make fuses with gun powder and trick candles. Lauren also testified that she felt Eric was unsophisticated when it came to explosives and that his “heresay” recipe sounded unworkable. Lauren testified that Anna wanted everyone to identify targets and that she was the main person interested in this. Lauren said “she kept saying everyone needs to be a part of this” in reference to mixing explosives and “I remember Zach having a panic attack”. At this point Eric told Anna to “chill out.” Lauren testified that Eric paid for no groceries while in Dutch Flat and that no one gave Anna money for the cabin. Lauren stated that she had no other place to stay, no transportation, no plane fare and too much stuff to carry hitch hiking, so it would be very difficult for her to survive without Anna’s patronage. Lauren testified that they gave up on the Nimbus Dam as a target and did not agree on the IFG as a target. When Mark asked her who their leader was she said “there was no leader.” When Mark asked her about the sleeping arrangements in the cabin, she said that she and Eric were sleeping in the master room together because she got scared alone at night, and that there was no sexual content at all. She claimed that Eric slept next to the wall and she slept near the door. She says she does not remember Eric crawling over her on the night of the 12th to get out of bed.

Lauren stated that the reason they did not set a date for their meeting in January is that “we didn’t even know if we had a place to stay, how we would get out there or when we would leave”. The USA said “so there were some variables” and Lauren responded “There were tons of unknowns”. All of these problems were solved by Anna. Lauren said “I had thoughts about quitting but I wanted to slow down and think about it more”. Lauren also said “Anna was like a big sister to me”. Mark asked her “were you acting to make Anna happy” and Lauren said “Yes”. Lauren said she wanted “to impress” Anna and that she wanted Anna to think that she was dedicated. Lauren said “She wanted me to come outside and mix explosives and I really didn’t want to” In regards to targets Lauren testified “we never picked one, we couldn’t decide” “that became a conflict as well”.

Testimony of Stephen Fowler

Officer Fowler testified that he has worked for the Vallejo police department since 1995 and is a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He conducted the computer forensic exam on the laptop that the four used in the Dutch Flat cabin. Officer Fowler indicated in his testimony that the training he received in computer forensics was a 30 minute conversation with an FBI computer specialist named Art Dorell. He described the process as imaging the hard drive of the computer and then using software to look at all the different pathways on the hard drive to indicate what internet searches had been done on the computer. Officer Fowler testified that there were various internet searches done on scientific supply stores, potassium chloride and hydrometers. When asked by Eric’s attorney whether there were any searches done regarding the ALF and the ELF he said he couldn’t remember. When Mark tried to ask him about what he did remember he replied “I just recall what was put in front of me” indicating the papers the USA gave him. He said there was no way for them to know who was using the computer at the time of the searches.

Testimony of Zach Jensen

Zach stated that he was arrested at the G8 in Brunswick, Georgia and that he started using the nickname Ollie. He stated that he has been cited for marijuana possession several times and used to smoke marijuana heavily. He testified about the conditions of his pretrial release and his job as a pizza delivery boy in Washington. He also claimed that he has been allowed the use of a computer (without internet access) so he can work on a book he is writing about his travels. He testified that he is no longer an anarchist “because anarchist politics pales in comparison to the higher experiences of life”. He stated that he ran into Anna on the way to court and has no harsh feelings towards her. That the terms of his plea agreement require him to testify and that if he is not truthful he can have his original charges reinstated, be charged with perjury or obstruction of justice and all the information he gave the government can be used against him. He said that he hopes the government gives him a good recommendation when it is time for sentencing. Zach testified that he met with the USA four times for three hour sessions to prepare for his testimony. When the government attorney asked Zach what the Number 1 rule of testifying was he replied “Tell the truth.” He stated that the four of them talked about burning buildings and creating explosives. He said he met Anna at G8 and Eric at the crimethinc convergence in Des Moines in 2004. He described Eric at that time as “pretty friendly,” “good energy,” “charismatic,” and “magnetic.” At this point the government attorney began questioning Zach about Eric's current partner, who was also in attendance at the Crimethinc convergence and the RNC. Zach claimed that the two stayed in touch during this time and that she had a way of contacting Eric that he did not (cell phone). This is a curious statement in light of the fact that Eric's lack of a cell phone seemed to be of serious concern to the judge during Eric's bail hearing. Zach said that later he met up with Eric at the Republican National Convention protest and that they discussed Molotov cocktails. She asked him who’s idea it was and he said he didn’t remember. At that point the court adjourned for the day.

Day 5

Upon arriving in court this morning, Eric's lawyer, Mark Reichel announced that he had injured his back this morning and needed to go see a doctor, as he was having trouble breathing. Because of this, court was in recess for the morning session. As of right now (1:00), it appears that we will not be in court again until tomorrow morning (Wednesday, September 19) at 9 am (501 “I” Street, 15th floor, room 3). If you are planning on attending trial, please come dressed appropriately for court. No food or drinks are allowed in the courtroom, and please make sure you turn off your cell phones and other electronic devices. Also, it is in the best interest of Eric's case that no one speak with the media.

Vegan Food

Eric is still being denied vegan meals! Please keep calling the jail and request that Eric be provided with food he can eat. When you call be prepared to sit through lots of transfers and ringing. The person who made the decision to deny Eric food is Lt. Ilg. You can also request to speak with his superior, Scott Jones. Make sure you have Eric's X-ref number handy: x-2972521.

Jail administration: 916-874-6905

You can also try writing:

Captain Scott Jones

651 I St.

Sacramento, CA 95814

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