All of the ACAC 19 have been ordered to appear, for the first time since arraignment, on October 4 at 1:30pm for a “settlement hearing”.
The hearing began at 9am and surprisingly ended after just over thirty minutes. There were no motions heard. Some attorneys raised a desire to postpone the trial date, which is currently set for October 24. The judge seemed disinclined to granting. Some possible venues were raised as possible locations for trial, none was chosen.
One attorney raised the issue of bail. Bail has to be reposted after one year, just a few weeks after this hearing. At this time, the bail bond company will want another payment in order to repost. Some of the ACAC 19 were bailed because people on the outside saw them beaten badly and feared for their well-being in jail. This cost friends, family and comrades thousands of dollars already. Now, if the judge does not release them on their own recognizance, they would have to pay more or face re-incarceration. The ADA refused to agree to that condition at this point. A judge will be hearing any arguments on this matter on October 1. We expect that it is too far a reach for the court to refuse this request since the ACAC 19 have all been to every ordered appearance, have participated in their defense and obviously have no intention of being scared away by the state’s ludicrous attempt to prosecute them.
The most important development is that the court ordered all 19 defendants to appear for a “settlement hearing” on October 4 at 1:30pm, two days before the one year anniversary of the arrest. A settlement hearing is a specifically called so that the judge can try to mediate a deal between the DA and the defendants. The Judge at this hearing will be Judge Collins, who has not yet overseen any of the ACAC 19 proceedings. The judge will likely call all 19 defense attorneys and the ADA team into chambers. What the Judge says to the attorneys behind closed doors is anybody’s guess. He may attempt to persuade the ADA to present a new plea offer. He may attempt to push the defense attorneys to sell the most recent plea offer. Due to the nature of this hearing, it will be incredibly important to have a mass showing at court on this day to accompany the 19 defendants to court. The judge and the ADA need to be reminded immediately before going into chambers that we know that this is a political prosecution that will not be easy, quiet, or go unanswered.
Please, continue to check the website, https://supporttheacac19.wordpress.com/ to find out more about the October 4 hearing.