Tribal Members Opt to Contest Nuisance Beefs

Eighteen of 28 Nez Perce arrested during megaload protests enter denials to charges.

At least 18 of the 28 Nez Perce tribal members charged with creating a public nuisance during protests against a megaload shipment last month will fight the charges in Nez Perce Tribal Court.

At their individual admit-deny hearings on Friday morning, September 20, in Lapwai, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee members Brooklyn Baptiste, 41, Leotis McCormack, 31, Anthony Johnson, 43, Albert Barros, 61, and Samuel Penney, 58, joined Greg L. Crow, 38, Ciarra S. Greene, 24, Delrae Kipp, 44, David F. Penney, Angela R. Picard, 32, Sally R. Rohan, 19, Lucy A. Samuels, 23, Paulette M. Smith, 44, Carla J. Timentwa, 56, and Nicole S. Twomoon, 29, in denying the veracity of the charges against them.

All were arrested following the August 5-8 protests of an Omega Morgan megaload shipment.  The transport firm encountered four nights of protests, while hauling an evaporator through the Nez Perce Reservation on U.S. Highway 12, en route to the Canadian tar sands.

Executive committee member Joel Moffett, 34, did not appear in court on Friday but did enter his denial to the charge, essentially an innocent plea, with Chief Nez Perce Tribal Court Judge Bruce Plackowski.

Executive committee Chairman Silas Whitman, 71, also did not appear in court but “accepted” the charge, pleading guilty and receiving a $100 fine. Continue reading