Denver, Colorado 2021-10-21 11:36:18 –
A maskless woman who refused to leave the Costa Mesa grocery store was convicted of trespassing on Wednesday after becoming the only person to be tried in Orange County for not following her. Obligation to cover the face led by a pandemic At a local company.
A jury in the Orange County Superior Court discovers Marianne Campbell Smith Convicted of a misdemeanor pair – Trespassing and sabotage of businesses and customers – After being arrested at the bustling Mothers Market near Triangle Square on August 15, 2020, during a protest against masks.
Judge John Jitney immediately sentenced Smith to 40 hours of community service and a year of informal probation. The judge also paid her a $ 200 fine and ordered her to leave the Costa Mesa Mothers Market.
In a statement read in court before the ruling, district attorney Todd Spitzer said the case involved the protection of private property rights.
“The defendant wanted to make this about masks and freedom,” Spitzer said. “The trial was about private companies and workers trying to comply with health orders. Instead, she bullied the store and told older shoppers who were masked that they were part of a government conspiracy. Shouted. “
Smith, a longtime nurse and mother of three, said he had a medical condition that prevented him from wearing a mask. Her lawyer added that she entered the store not to protest, but to get food and drink.
“Justice wasn’t provided, but I accept it,” said 57-year-old Smith outside the court after being verdicted. “It was important to talk about these issues today.”
Jennifer Marie Sterling, a second woman arrested with Smith, previously donated to the Covid Relief Fund for Nurses and refused to leave the store when ordered by police officers. Accepted a judicial transaction to admit a breach. Owner’s request. The third maskless woman who entered the grocery store with Smith and Sterling seems to have left before the police arrived.
Orange County police and prosecutors are largely devoted to education and support activities regarding mask obligations and other coronavirus restrictions, significantly avoiding arrests and criminal accusations. The Smith and Sterling cases were the only reported cases of personal arrest or prosecution, with only one local business owner operating a bar in Costa Mesa. Faced with criminal numbers by ignoring Covid’s limits..
Susan Price, assistant district attorney, admitted to the jury that the national debate over Mask and Covid restrictions was an incidental issue of Smith’s trial. However, prosecutors say that at the heart of the case is the right of private companies to set their own guidelines for protecting workers and employees, and their demand to leave the store when Smith does not follow those rules. He repeatedly emphasized the actual focus on power.
“The grocery store is not a public forum for debate. The grocery store is not a place of protest,” Price said. “They have the right to say,’I’m not going to make employees feel dangerous.'”
Price accused Smith of deliberately interfering with the normal operation of the market in order to make political claims. The prosecutor also mentioned the clerk’s testimony that Smith had confronted other shoppers.
Smith’s lawyer Frederick Facineri denied Smith was destructive and accused the store manager of trying to intimidate a large security guard around the market to chase her.
“Only employees were making the scene,” Fascenelli said.
The defense lawyer also questioned why Smith was not charged for violating the mask requirements added to the Costa Mesa City Ordinance.
“This is all political,” Fascenelli said. “They don’t want to touch the third rail of politics, which is Mask’s mission, so they’re trying to shoehorn on suspicion of these trespasses.”
A number of Costa Mesa officers, including the SWAT team, were waiting that day for a planned anti-mask protest on the corner of Newport Boulevard and 19th Avenue.
Eric Katz, the manager of the Costa Mesa Mothers Market at the time, testified that he had stepped in front of Smith and her two companions who entered the market without a mask. The manager explained that the woman was pushing him away, but he admitted that they had no physical contact.
The manager testified that Smith and two other women ignored his recurring demands to cover his face and leave the store. He added that he allowed women to choose between providing a list of groceries that employees could bring out or using online services such as Instacart.
Includes several wielding flags that say “Trump 2020,” “Keep America Great,” and “Keep Your Politics away from Our Faces,” while Smith and two other women are in the store. , A group of about 20 protesters gathered in front. At the entrance to the Mother’s Market, guide employees to lock the main door. According to testimony, patrons in the store were guided to return to the exit.
When Smith tried to buy a bag of chips and a container of macaroni salad, the employee refused to call him. Smith left $ 5 by the cash register and left.
Surveillance footage showed Smith trying to leave the market shortly after police officers entered the store.
She and Sterling were stopped by police, handcuffed, and taken out of the market. Police officers testified that protesters outside the store shouted “shame, shame, shame” to the police, and at least one compared them to the Nazis.
Prosecutors said Smith, a resident of South Orange County, declined a pretrial diversion offer that would lead to the indictment being dismissed if Smith completed 10 hours of community service.
Smith wore a clear plastic face shield during a three-day trial in Westminster court. Currently, visitors and employees of Orange County court facilities need face covers.
California woman who refused to wear mask in grocery store convicted of trespassing – The Denver Post Source link California woman who refused to wear mask in grocery store convicted of trespassing – The Denver Post