After months of delays, a trial date has finally been set for Yvette Felarca and two other men who were involved in a protest that turned into a bloody brawl back in 2016. The Sacramento Bee reports:
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.
Felarca and her two compatriots were scheduled for arraignment back in February but the judge granted an extension so that the defendants and the DA could continue negotiating a possible plea deal. After the extension was granted, Felarca’s attorney said a plea deal seemed “relatively close.” Two months later it appears that didn’t work out since the case is now set for trial.
Felarca was initially charged with assault in 2017 but her attorneys claimed last February that the charges were part of a “political witch hunt” and asked a judge to dismiss them. Last May a judge refused and said in court, ” Simply nothing in these exhibits supports the defendants’ claims…that they were unjustly or unfairly culled out.”
Felarca’s attorneys filed a second request for dismissal and last December seemed intent on filing a third one, all with the same underlying claim that she was being singled out because of her political views. In fact, the case against Felarca is largely based on video of the incident which was broadcast by local television stations. Felarca’s attorneys have argued the video itself is “unauthenticated” which is a weird way of suggesting something about it could be fake.
The defense also argued that the video could just show part of the story, or could have been falsified.
“The video comes from either YouTube or social media,” Reichel said. “That’s the concerns we have, in terms of editing and authentification.”
Earlier this month Felarca was ordered to pay $20,000 in attorneys fees to the group Judicial Watch. She had filed what a judge eventually deemed to be a “frivolous” lawsuit to prevent the group from getting access to public records from the Middle School where she teaches.
Once again, here’s the video showing the attack by Felarca. The defense’s best argument against felony assault is that Felarca is too small to have done serious bodily harm. However, the idea that we shouldn’t believe what we can see happening with our own eyes in this clip is a bit much.