Nine defendants line the front bench of a Morton County Courtroom, all of whom were the first pipeline protesters arrested. After the 2 hour long jury selection was made, the attorneys gave opening statements.
Alex Reichert, an attorney representing one of the defendants told the jury, “What we’re going to be talking about here today is facts. And we’re going to be talking about not the emotions, not some of the things we were talking about in jury selection about people being upset about the protesters or upset about the pipeline or things like that.”
All of those in trial today were charged with disorderly conduct, and one with the added charge of fleeing. One defendant, Kevin Decker, was a hot topic of discussion. He was the first ever pipeline protester arrested.
Morton County Sheriff Captain Jay Gruebele stated, “For me, Mr. Decker, he got arrested because he was warned and reminded several times verbally. And at the point of him putting his hands at me to actually try to physically push me. At that point, I had enough and placed him under arrest.”
The state’s attorney’s office brought 4 witnesses, all in law enforcement. They were the ones who made the arrests that day. At times, it got a little heated.
Reichert shouted, “I’m asking you, you’re the one who made the arrest here. You’re the one that’s saying that my client did something wrong. I’m just asking you. Were there construction workers there when she was arrested?
“According to your photograph, yes,” Gruebele responded.
This was only the first day of court. It will continue for a second day — possibly ending in a verdict.