Trial for Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson begins in Multnomah County
MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - The trial for Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson began Monday morning in Multnomah County.
Gibson and two other people - Russel Schultz and Mackenzie Lewis - went to trial Monday, facing felony riot charges from May Day demonstration in 2019. Three others have already pled guilty.
After May Day protests in 2019, a group identifying as anti-fascist went to Cider Riot located in northeast Portland. Prosecutors say a group from Patriot Prayer went to the bar to confront them and things turned into an all-out street brawl when the two groups clashed.
The trial was initially delayed because of COVID-19.
The trial started late Monday morning because of some motions defense attorneys made to try to quell some of the prosecutor’s video evidence, saying the video could prejudice the jury. The judge overruled those motions.
In opening arguments, Prosecutor Brad Kalbaugh said he’d base his case on videos taken the day of the riot.
“The bulk of the evidence that you’re going to see is going to be video. You’ll see on the video any number of people with cell phones recording other people, so the video will be interspliced, and you’ll see a lot of people doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. Today, we are going to be looking at three individuals, the defendants - Joseph Gibson, Mackenzie Lewis and Russel Schultz,” said Kalbaugh in court.
In their opening statements, defense attorneys argued that their clients did not start the riot and even tried to de-escalate the situation and said the videos would show that.
“Now despite being spat upon, kicked, slapped, slashed at with a knife, Mr. Gibson did not respond with any violent act. He did not pepper spray anyone, he did not punch anyone, he did not kick anybody, and what you’ll see when you listen to everything is that Mr. Gibson repeatedly told people, ‘don’t throw things ‚put your weapon away,’” one of the defense attorneys said.
In Oregon, riot is a Class C felony. If convicted, the defendants could face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $125,000.
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