So, there is a warrant out for my arrest.
Last time I heard the law was looking for me? I returned as quick as I could and turned myself in. The media said I was a terrorist. That I took someone hostage at gunpoint.
I went through the process of being arrested, stayed in their jurisdiction to face court (that took more than a year) and agreed to the judgement of the court. The court accused me of several things. The media crucified me for more than the court said. I was so scared.
The judge was so kind. The prosecution went after me so hard.
I had six charges (none of them were what the media was saying LOL). One of them was federal. They accused me of cutting down trees. That is a forestry crime and could constitute jail time.
When I went into court the first time I asked the judge for two things. I needed enough time to return to the next court date (I was in the province but staying five hours away from court) and I wanted my charges separated from my co-accused. He had two more charges than I did so that was a reasonable request.
The first judge? Even though he listened to when my disability pay comes in? He made the date for me to return to court the day before. And that smug lawyer, Jeremy, smirked at me. He smirked again when the judge refused to separate the charges. They told me to get a lawyer.
To make a very long story a lot more short?
I got a lawyer, lost that lawyer. He had a deal with my co-accused’s lawyer that fell through so I got screwed one week before my trial.
I went into court alone two days before trial (I asked to be seen in the court) and told the judge I had been trying for more than a year to just settle this. The court forced me to get a lawyer who wanted to take it to trial based on my being tied to someone else. I never wanted to make the plea that would take me to trial. I wanted the charges separated and to settle my own situation.
I still giggle that ‘smug Jeremy’ chose NOT to come to court that day and face me.
The judge was so angry when he heard my side. When he asked the six lawyers at the prosecution table which one was on my case and found out ‘Jeremy’ hadn’t come to court? He told the prosecutors “Mr. Andrews needs to meet with <Shaunda> before her court date Friday. This needs to be settled before I see him.”
….skipping more details to shorten, it’s a LONG story…..
When I got to court on the Friday I had met with Jeremy. We had come to an agreement about what I would plea to.
I agreed to plead guilty to the charge of being on the land with the stipulation I believed it was legitimately privately owned and I had the right to be there. All other charges dropped!
So when I say the prosecution went hard? Jeremy went a bit crazy in his request for my punishment. He asked the judge to consider my possible politics, the cost of arrest and a few other things. Even though he didn’t get the guilty on my forestry charge he asked for the $100K fine for it anyway.
When I said the judge was kind? I’ll never forget ‘my day in court’. The judge chastised the prosecution for dragging my situation out so long based on another person (my co-accused). He saw I was earnest in trying to get it cleared up and told me he was sorry it took so long. He listened to me as one human to another (that doesn’t happen when another person represents you).
The judge told the prosecution (Jeremy Andrews) they were out of line. No where in history has the prosecution requested the punishment include cost of arrest. He was flabbergasted Mr. Andrews would even suggest it.
Also? He said something to the effect of… <Shaunda> should not be punished for the political beliefs of her co-accused. You are asking me to punish her because of things you believe about someone else when the actual charges you agreed to don’t warrant that punishment. It was Christ who was crucified, not the ones who followed him and I will not crucify this girl.
In the long run, I got a $1000 fine. Why? Because even though he could see the court had put me through enough (his words, not mine), the media was all over it and people who were of my co-accused’s political beliefs needed to see I was punished.
I gave him my tax return and showed what I make on disability. I told him straight out that I could not and WOULD not pay the fine.
He gave me other options. I could voluntarily go into jail. Or I could work community service. I explained that I could not do the community service because of my disability and that jail time was not something I could handle, also for my health reasons. He gave me six months to pay the fine.
I left the province less than a month later.
I never paid the fine.
This weekend? Paul went to pick up his belongings that have been ‘stored’ by the government all these years we’ve gone through this. They gave it all to him with no problem but they let him know <Shaunda> has a warrant for her arrest for not paying her fine.
So here I sit. Wondering what to do. I don’t want it hanging over me. I can’t afford to pay it, at least not in one payment. But these people have my address so I suppose I could be arrested at any time. I’ve heard Alberta does that.
What I am considering? I live in a remote area. I could do two weeks in a holding cell in a local jail.
Regardless? I’m an outlaw again. Wanted. Just not quite the way I want.