A Dakota Access Pipeline protester accused of shooting at officers last year awaits her release to a halfway house as attorneys debate a change of venue for trial.
Red Fawn Fallis, 38, is charged federally with felony counts of civil disorder, discharge of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Her charges stem from the Oct. 27 incident last year when she allegedly fired a gun three times as police tried to arrest her for disorderly behavior near a DAPL protest camp.
Fallis has pleaded innocent. A four-day trial is set to begin Dec. 5 in Bismarck. Defense attorney Jessie Cook filed a reply brief Aug. 30, reinforcing the request for a venue transfer to one outside of North Dakota due to publicity.
"In short, negative community attitudes have not dissipated, governmental agencies invited prejudicial attitudes against the defendant and water protectors generally and such hostility has tainted the jury pool in North Dakota," Cook wrote, acknowledging that venue transfers are typically for "exceptional and rare circumstances."
She also wrote that the prosecution's suggestion to transfer the case to Fargo or to gather eastern North Dakota jurors is "insufficient." Defense attorney Bruce Ellison originally motioned for the venue transfer in June.
Also in June, Chief Judge Daniel Hovland granted Fallis release to a halfway house in Fargo, pending available bed space. Online jail records indicate she is in custody at the Stutsman County Correctional Center.