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Necessity Defense Denied to Pipeline Activist: lates on his trial 11.25.17

Jury Convicts 'Valve Turner' Leonard Higgins On Both Counts

By Bennett Hall, gazettetimes.com
November 24th, 2017
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Above Photo: BENNETT HALL Corvallis Gazette-Times

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FORT BENTON, Mont. — A Montana jury took just one hour to find climate activist Leonard Higgins guilty of misdemeanor trespassing and felony criminal mischief on Wednesday for his role in the “valve turner” protest that briefly shut down the flow of Canadian crude through pipelines in four U.S. states last year.

The 65-year-old former Corvallis resident is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 2 by Judge Daniel Boucher in Chouteau County District Court.

He faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the criminal mischief count.

The 12-person jury could have found Higgins guilty of a lesser charge but determined that his actions caused more than $1,500 in damage to the pipeline’s owner, Spectra Energy (now Enbridge Corp.), making the criminal mischief a felony offense.

Higgins’ lead defense attorney, Herman Watson IV of Bozeman, said his client intends to appeal the verdict to the Montana Supreme Court.

“That’s always been the plan, and we already have the appeal written,” Watson said.

To read the whole article, go to: Jury convicts 'valve turner' Leonard Higgins on both counts