Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Stonewalled by federal court, Red Fawn Fallis changes plea

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | January 16th, 2018

Activist at Standing Rock greets the morning - photograph by C.S. HagenFARGO – Red Fawn Fallis, the woman charged with firing a handgun during the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, changed her plea Tuesday to guilty after federal prosecutors agreed to drop one of her charges.

If District of North Dakota Chief Judge Daniel Hovland accepts the change of plea, the most serious charge – discharge of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence – will be dropped. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and the possibility of up to life in prison. Fallis, a 37-year-old Oglala Sioux woman, would plead guilty to charges of civil disorder and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, which could carry a maximum sentence of up to 10 years.

“Under the agreement, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than seven years in prison, although the judge does have the authority to go as high as 10 years on these charges,” a press release from the Water Protector Legal Collective stated. “If the judge decides not to accept the agreement the case will continue to trial on all three charges.”

Police drone footage still shot of the moment Red Fawn Fallis was tackled - The Intercept files

The announcement came less than a month after Fallis’s defense team discovered the handgun law enforcement officials say she fired belonged to an infiltrator paid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the defense team.

Heath Harmon - Facebook postHeath Harmon, a 46-year-old Fort Berthold Reservation member, befriended and seduced Fallis, according to a December 29, 2017 Motion to Compel Discovery filed by defense attorneys. The relationship continued for an unspecified time after Fallis was arrested for allegedly shooting a handgun – a weapon that did not belong to her, but to the infiltrator – who would be paid $40 per day to testify against his former lover.

The Water Protector Legal Collective, or WPLC, said the deck was too heavily stacked against their client.

“Red Fawn has been fighting an uphill battle at every stage of this case,” the WPLC press release stated. “She is facing up to life in prison and the prospect of a trial in North Dakota where there has been extensive pre-trial publicity adverse to Water Protectors and against the No-DAPL movement.”

The defense has filed a multitude of motions, and most were denied. The defense filed motions to extend deadlines, motions for miscellaneous relief, a motion to dismiss, motions to compel discovery, a motion regarding jury questionnaires, a motion in limine – seeking to exclude any evidence of prior crimes – and that Fallis planned on presenting a necessity defense at trial.

The government fired back with a motion in limine of its own, seeking to restrict the defendant from offering evidence or testimony relative to historic treaty agreements between the United States and the Lakota Sioux tribes. The government’s motion was granted, according to court documents.

Red Fawn Fallis - Facebook post“Rulings against Red Fawn at every step of proceedings have left the defense with insufficient information about the paid FBI informant who became her boyfriend and who plans to testify against her at trial,” the WPLC press release stated. “The government has refused to provide full disclosure of even potentially exculpatory surveillance and other records in the possession of TigerSwan and other private security firms who coordinated with law enforcement during the encampments at Standing Rock and had targeted Red Fawn as a leader.”

TigerSwan, headquartered in North Carolina, with offices in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India, and Latin America, was the fusion lead for private security companies working for Energy Transfer Partners during the months-long controversy. A civil suit against TigerSwan and its founder, James Reese, for working illegally in North Dakota was filed by the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board, and will go to trial in October of this year.

The decision was difficult, according to the press release, but her defense team, after conducting surveys in the Fargo area, decided to change Fallis’s plea.

If Fallis is sentenced, she would be the first activist from the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline facing a substantial prison term. Fiver others face federal charges, and the state still has more than 300 cases to prosecute. 

"I feel strong, and I know my mom is by my side," Fallis said in a recent Facebook post. Her mother, Troylynn YellowWood died four months before her arrest. 

Red Fawn (right) - Facebook page

Recently in:

BISMARCK – Two bills are fighting for ethical supremacy in the North Dakota State Legislature. Senate Bill 2148, sponsored by Senator Tim Mathern, a Democrat from Fargo, received a ‘Do Pass’ from Special Ethics Committee on…

Culture

​‘Pull-Tab’ machines

by HPR Contributor

By Zach Nerpelzachnerpel@gmail.comThere is nothing more hopeless than a feeling unrequited. The obsession it brings, the doubt it stews, and the madness which erases your sense of self are crippling. You’ll give more than you are…

Thursday, February 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m.650 40th Ave S, West FargoThe area’s premier evening of Yoga, wine, cheese and community. Luna Fargo restaurant owner and wine/cheese expert, Nikki Berglund, will select 3 pairings to follow…

It will be Valentine’s Day by the time this issue hits the stands, but who knows you might even be picking it up after you’ve finished eating the last of the chocolates you bought for yourself for Valentine’s Day.We’re not…

Gadfly

Anti-Life America

by Ed Raymond

All The Evidence Points To An Anti-Life Political PartyAfter observing and experiencing the machinations and voting records of the Republican Party from Nixon to Reagan To Bush To Trump, one can arrive at only one conclusion: It is…

After a day of checking the weather updates and keeping an eye on any closing announcements from this week’s entrants, our judges ordered up a ride share service and headed out to the western side of town for two stops in West…

Over the past few years Luna has become my favorite restaurant in the FM area. The thoughtfulness of Ryan’s creations and the neighborhood environment of the locale as a whole creates a beautiful experience that can’t be found…

Music

​Ready or Knot

by HPR Contributor

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comWhen Sabrina gets a hold of you and asks you to interview a band as unique as Fargo locals The Knotties you just yell “yes!” Only a few days later I was meeting with Channing Minnema (lead vocals,…

Documentarian Penny Lane adds another entertaining movie to her filmography with an inside look at the recent rise of the Satanic Temple. As a movie experience, “Hail Satan?” often lives deliciously. The film might even turn…

By Jacinta Zensjacinta.zens@gmail.comThe Department of Visual Arts at Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls and the Kaddatz Galleries are excited to announce the First Annual Visiting Artists Workshop series.…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

The 1,290 square-foot garage that was once Main Avenue Auto has generated a lot of buzz for good reason. Harold’s on Main is Moorhead’s newest watering hole and the attention is all in the details. With its dark wood paneling,…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

By Cara Cody-Brauncara.braun@wyndmereschools.orgI am not much of a science fiction fan, but I’m a sucker for a story with a portal. Who hasn’t dreamed of entering a different world? Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole in…