AUGUSTA — Five Occupy Augusta supporters charged with disobeying police orders to leave the Blaine House will be tried together April 25 and 26 in front of one jury.

The trial is set for Kennebec County Superior Court and the jury was selected Friday. Each defendant, charged with criminal trespassing, will receive an individual verdict.

The co-defendants are Elizabeth A. Burke, 48, of Union; Kimberly G. Cormier, 47, of Benton; Patricia L. Messier, 63, of Wiscasset, Jenny Gray, 54, of Wiscasset April 6 and David J. Page, 44, of Surry. They all are represented by attorneys Philip Worden and Lynne Williams.

Prosecutors earlier indicated they wanted to try the cases separately. The defense attorneys, however, wanted the defendants tried together.

“It’s very unusual to do it separately,” Worden said Friday. “I had assured my clients the state and the court would want to join them for judicial economy.”

Jury selection for another co-defendant Gregory M. Fahy, 44, of Hallowell, who is represented by attorney Walter McKee, was also scheduled today. Fahy’s trial is set for April 27.

Altogether, nine people were arrested and charged with criminal trespass stemming from a protest on Nov. 27. They were objecting to an order that they get a permit to use nearby Capitol Park, which had been occupied by protesters since Oct. 15. The tent city was dismantled in December after a federal judge ruled that police were within their rights to require a permit.

One defendant, Diane H. Messer, 59, of Liberty, was convicted by a jury March 23 and fined $400. Another defendant, Michael Reynolds, 38, of Lewiston, pleaded guilty earlier this week and was fined $250.

A criminal trespass charge remains pending against James Freeman, 62, of Verona Island, who is representing himself in the case. He is scheduled for a hearing in June.

 

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