By Denny Walsh
Five people who protested U.S. use of drones at Beale Air Force Base in October were arraigned today in Sacramento federal court on misdemeanor charges of unlawfully entering military property. Through their attorneys, they pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney set a non-jury trial for April 15.
The five defendants are Sharon Delgado, David Hartsough, Janet Hartsough, Jane Kesselman and Shirley Osgood.
Prosecuter Nicholas Fogg moved to dismiss four others cited at the Oct. 30 protest but not named in the charging document filed today by Fogg. Delaney granted the motion. Why the government did not pursue prosecution of those four is not yet clear.
The hearing was preceded by a drone protest on the plaza in front of the federal courthouse at 5th and I streets in Sacramento. The defendants were among the 35 to 40 protestors. Some displayed banners and signs with messages such as "Stop Killer Drones."
Photo caption: Protestors hold signs in front of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento on Tuesday morning to show their support for the nine defendants who appeared in court on trespass charges for actions taken in October at Beale Air Force Base. Photo by Randy Pench / firstname.lastname@example.org