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Red Fawn Fallis

Red Fawn Fallis, 38

Attorneys for Red Fawn Fallis, an anti-pipeline protester accused of shooting a handgun at arresting officers, sought to suppress evidence and her statements made at the time of her arrest during a hearing that lasted all day Friday and through Monday morning.

Fallis' attorneys allege her arrest violated free speech rights during a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Oct. 27, 2016, along State Highway 1806.

Six officers had testified Friday to various aspects of her arrest when District of North Dakota Chief Judge Daniel Hovland agreed to reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Monday. At that time, North Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Bennett Bitz resumed his testimony before the defense, followed by state parole officer Daniel Heidbreder, who processed Fallis after her arrest, and Oceti Sakowin camp peacekeeper Dennis Martinez Jr. 

Heidbreder said he processed six items of evidence removed from Fallis, including 12 rounds of .38-caliber ammunition, three bags of marijuana, rolling papers, a bandanna and a braid of sweet grass.

Martinez said he "held the line" between law enforcement and protesters throughout the demonstrations near the pipeline route in southern Morton County. He said he never had to push Fallis back but she was angry in the moments before her arrest.

Pennington County (S.D.) Sheriff's Deputy Thadius Schmit testified Friday that Fallis' "aggressive stance, her having to be pushed away from (another officer)" contributed to her arrest.

Her arrest took place as officers with tactical vehicles paused while moving protesters south on the highway as they received reports of gunshots ahead. Martinez said Monday that a horse and rider had been shot with less lethal ammunition. 

Drone footage showed Fallis arriving at the scene within five minutes of her arrest. Other footage showed her cursing at least once and jabbing in midair as Martinez stood between her and officers.

Officers from Friday in court testified that after her arrest, Fallis said statements to the effect of, "If I wanted to kill you, I would have shot you in the head" and "All pigs deserve to die," while laughing or giggling.

Monday's hearing concluded about 11:30 a.m. Attorneys agreed to file post-hearing briefs by Dec. 18.

"It is our position there is a substantial amount of outstanding discovery," defense attorney Molly Armour said, referring to discussion at the outset Friday when Fallis' legal team said potential camera and witness evidence has not yet been produced.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler reiterated his response that "everything we have has been turned over."

Hovland previously ordered the prosecution to file formal responses by Friday to each of the 17 discovery disputes Fallis' attorneys have raised. He also ordered prosecutors to undertake their best faith efforts to "disclose anything and everything they have by the end of this week." 

Armour also said the defense will file a motion to compel discovery. Prosecutors will respond within a week of receipt.

In other proceedings, Hovland said questionnaires will go out this week to 150 potential jurors to be returned by Dec. 22. Attorneys said they hope to quickly strike any potential jurors with obvious bias.

Fallis' trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 29 in Fargo. She is charged with civil disorder, discharging a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

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Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or


Crime and Courts Reporter