Brad Crower Pleas in MN State Court

On Monday in the Ramsey County District Court, Bradley Neal Crowder plead guilty to 1 count of Aiding and Abetting Terroristic Threats. Brad is one of the Texas 2. The other two counts against him were dismissed by the prosecutor.  The plea deal gets him a 15 month sentence, which he asked to have executed (rather than having it stayed and being sentenced to jail time plus probation).  He will be credited with the 5 days he stayed at the LEC from Sept 1-5, 2008 and with the time from January 15, 2009 to the present. (That leaves about 5 months.)  The remainder of the sentence will be served concurrently with the federal sentence (a couple years) he is currently serving, and the judge’s understanding is that this sentence will be finished “long before” the federal one.  Brad will be transferred to federal custody to finish the remainder of this sentence. He also has to pay a $50 fine plus court costs.
Brad’s defense lawyer, Mr. Sicolli–who took the case pro bono and said he is glad he did–spoke on Brad’s behalf. He said he had gotten to know Brad and come to like him. He said Brad still feels very strongly about the things he came to St. Paul to protest, but that he has come to see that this is not the best way to oppose them, and indeed, he has “paid dearly” for his actions already.
Brad told the judge that he had been “duly convicted,” that he took full responsibility for his actions. He said that no one had been injured by his actions and that there had been perhaps $250 worth of damage. As Mr. Sicolli, said, he had paid a heavy price for it–two years in jail. By contrast, the leaders of the Republican Party had broken national and Constitutional laws, done millions of dollars worth of damage, and caused the loss of many lives. Yet none of them have been sentenced for anything they have done. And as a young person, he could not help feeling frustrated by that disparity of treatment.

Judge Nathanson did not comment in reply; she just enacted the plea that the parties had agreed to.

Brad’s plea agreement came after weeks of being held in the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) awaiting his turn in the “trial call” list, yet another way the state tries to wear people down and coerce pleas by not letting them know exactly when they will go on trial. While being held there, he had access to fewer resources and privileges than he had in federal custody since the LEC is only intended for relatively short detentions for people awaiting trial.

Brad will soon be transferred back into custody to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Once we have his mailing address, we’ll let you know. He could definitely use letters, commissary funds, and other types of support from folks on the outside!

And don’t forget that you can support political prisoners all the time! If you’re in Minneapolis, stop by Arise! Bookstore for letter writing times:

Every 2nd & 4th Mondays
6-8pm
Arise! Bookstore & Resource Center
2441 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls

For more information, email mplsprionsersupport@riseup.net or visit http://www.arisebookstore.org/letters-prisoners.

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