Pipeline protesters who fired a gun during arrest sentenced to more than 4 years in prison (Update)

Red Fawn Fallis is the Dakota Access Pipeline protester who, back in 2016, fired a handgun when three police officers tried to arrest her. The charges against her were the most serious stemming from any conflict during the pipeline protest. Today a judge sentenced Fallis to more than four years in prison. Bismark Times reporter Jack Dura was on hand for the sentencing and reported the results on Twitter:

Fallis has been in custody since she was arrested in October 2016. She was initially charged with attempted murder but those charges were later dropped to clear the way for federal charges. Some of her time was actually spent at a halfway house but that arrangement was rescinded after she failed to show up for an adult learning class she was scheduled to attend. Today the judge who sentenced her said she would not get credit for time served at the halfway house because of her subsequent arrest.

This January, Fallis pleaded guilty to “civil disorder and gun possession by a convicted felon.” Despite her plea, and despite the fact that she had a previous record, there are still lots of people on the left who consider her a martyr. A change.org petition demanding that charges against her be dropped has over 20,000 signatures. The petition claims “Fallis is innocent of the charges she is facing” but doesn’t spell out what those charges are or why she’s innocent.

As you can see in the video below, Fallis was surrounded by police when the gun went off three times. It really is miraculous no one was hurt. Even with her time served and the sentences running concurrently, Fallis probably will face another 3 1/2 years behind bars. After that, she’ll have another 3 years of supervised release.

Update: Here’s the AP story on today’s sentencing.

Red Fawn Fallis, 39, was accused of firing a handgun three times while resisting arrest on Oct. 27, 2016. No one was hurt. Fallis, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, denied intentionally trying to injure anyone and claimed not to remember firing the gun after being tackled by police…

Fallis spoke for several minutes when the judge allowed her to comment, saying she regrets what happened and is using it as an impetus to turn around her troubled life.

“I made poor choices once again and it hindered my decision-making,” she said, adding later that “I’m sorry for what the officers had to go through because of my choices.”…

Judge Hovland concluded that “nobody knows what the real purpose was” of Fallis firing the gun but that “at a minimum (she) committed a menacing-type assault on the officers.”

Despite everything, she still has her supporters:

David Strom 10:01 PM on September 26, 2022
David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022