Witness stunned by sudden outbreak of violence at state Capitol
A July trial date awaits anti-fascist activists three years after a wild melee between white supremacists and counterprotesters at California’s Capitol that left nearly a dozen injured.
Trial for Michael Williams, Yvette Felarca and Porfirio Paz was set for July 15 at Sacramento County’s downtown courthouse, blocks from the violent June 2016 clash with members of the white supremacist groups Traditional Workers Party and Golden State Skinheads on the Capitol grounds.
Each faces assault charges in a case that Berkeley teacher-activist Felarca’s attorney again called a “witch hunt” Tuesday.
“The whole nature of this case is a witch hunt and another waste of time and taxpayers’ money,” attorney Shanta Driver said outside Sacramento County’s Patino Hall of Justice at the main county jail.
From the outset, defense attorneys have assailed the case as politically motivated, accusing Sacramento authorities of colluding with the hate groups.
Sacramento County prosecutors charged the three and a fourth man – Colorado white supremacist William Planer with assault after a year-long California Highway Patrol investigation into the riot.
Planer faced trial earlier this year, but jurors in February failed to reach a verdict and a Sacramento Superior Court judge declared a mistrial. He remains in Sacramento County custody ahead of a second trial on the assault allegation.