Sides Scuffle at Hearing for Defendants Charged in State Capitol Riot

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Defense Claims DA Withholding Evidence, and that Anti-Fascist Defendants – Including Yolo Man – are Victims of ‘Selective Prosecution’

By Crescenzo Vellucci

Several people were involved in a brief scuffle Wednesday afternoon here after a court hearing for anti-fascist protestors arrested as a result of a bloody riot, in which seven people were stabbed at a white power rally at the State Capitol in June 2016.

The post-court, extra-curricular activities came in the middle of a news conference with defense lawyers – a heckler and a defense supporter tangled briefly right in front of Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputies at the main jail. There were no arrests but deputies swarmed the area for a short time.

At the hearing, lawyers for the three demonstrators, who have been charged with felony assault, told the court they didn’t have complete discovery and promised they would be filing motions to compel the Sacramento District Attorney to provide it.

Anti-fascist defendants Mike Williams of Yolo County, Yvonne Felarca of the Bay Area and Porfirio Paz of SoCal were present in court. Alt-right activist and neo-Nazi William Scott Planer made a court appearance in September.

“It’s a silly, politically motivated prosecution,” said Sacramento attorney Mark Reichel, who represents Paz. (Sacramento attorney Linda Parisi represents Williams).

“Just look and see which side had people stabbed…those who were protesting with my client, Mr. Paz,” said Reichel, who charged there are “large gaps” of missing information in the discovery turned over by the DA so far.

“There is no way this case should go forward. This is selective prosecution and they are singling out my client. There are videos clearly showing those who stabbed (the anti-fascist counter protestors), but they, those people, were not charged,” said Ronald Cruz, an attorney for Felarca, adding the defense team could file a motion to dismiss as soon as December.

Defense and prosecution agreed to a Dec. 12 deadline to file any motions regarding missing discovery, and both sides are due back for a pre-trial conference Jan. 18 to set a preliminary hearing in anticipation of trial.

The scuffle was as a result of a man who wore a “press pass” with “Jose Lopez” on it but later admitted to reporters his real name was “Carlos Martinez” and that he wasn’t a working newsperson. He said he’s monitoring the anti-fascists’ activists, claiming they are harassing him.

However, he was seen taking photos and videos of all supporters in attendance – those supporters said they were being targeted for harassment by individuals like “Lopez/Martinez.”



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