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The nine protesters who were cited in October at Beale Air Force Base gather before their arraignment in January. Four had charges dismissed; five were found guilty Monday of trespassing.

'Beale 5' found guilty of trespassing at air base

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 - 7:42 am

Five peace advocates who oppose the Obama administration's use of killer drones were found guilty Monday by a Sacramento judge of trespassing at Beale Air Force Base.

After a daylong trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney pronounced the four women and one man guilty of penetrating the boundary of the Yuba County installation.

She set Sept. 9 for the sentencing of Sharon Delgado, Jane Kesselman, Shirley Osgood, David Hartsough and his wife, Janet Hartsough.

The maximum punishment on the misdemeanors is six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

"Civil disobedience, which at one time was honored in this country in the wake of the civil rights movement, suffered a terrible fate today at the hands of – incredibly – the administration of our first African American president," said defense attorney Mark Reichel after the verdict.

Delaney denied the so-called "Beale 5" a jury trial, instead acting as both the trier of fact and interpreter of the law.

While it was inside the outer boundary but outside the main gate of the base, Master Sgt. Scott Nathan Ludrich had a "demarcation line" beyond which was forbidden ground to the protesters, he testified.

He said he repeatedly warned them during the Oct. 30 protest not to step across that line, but they did anyway, so they were detained and cited.

Witnesses for the defense testified Ludrich gave no warnings and the location of the line was never clear.

Call The Bee's Denny Walsh, (916) 321-1189.

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