Protesters guilty of Whiteman trespassing

Brian Terrell, right, holds a protest banner outside the Christopher S. Bond Federal Courthouse in Jefferson City Monday, shortly before going on trial on federal trespassing charges.

Brian Terrell, right, holds a protest banner outside the Christopher S. Bond Federal Courthouse in Jefferson City Monday, shortly before going on trial on federal trespassing charges. Photo by Julie Smith.

Federal officials prevailed in Jefferson City Monday when two anti-war protesters were convicted for trespassing last spring at Whiteman Air Force Base.

The conviction came despite the activists’ best efforts to elevate the case into a public debate over the morality of unmanned military drones.

At a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Matt Whitworth, two defendants — Ron Faust, a retired Disciples of Christ minister from Gladstone, and Brian Terrell, a member of the Catholic Worker Movement from Iowa — argued unsuccessfully they had a right deliver a petition to the base’s commander, Brig. Gen. Scott A. Vander Hamm.

Faust and Terrell were arrested April 15.

A third protester, Mark Kenney of Omaha, pleaded guilty June 6, and is serving a four-month term in federal prison.

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