Deal helps 4 accused in RNC disruptions avoid jail

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2010 4:04 AM
Deal helps 4 accused in RNC disruptions avoid jail

Four men arrested for plotting to disrupt the 2008 Republican National Convention are avoiding jail under plea deals reached with prosecutors in Minnesota.

The deals accepted by a judge Tuesday also resolve the last of the major criminal cases stemming from hundreds of arrests surrounding the four-day event.

The men _ 27-year-old Garrett Fitzgerald, 35-year-old Rob Czernik, 28-year-old Nathanael Secor and 21-year-old Max Specktor _ were scheduled for trial next week on charges of conspiracy to riot and damage property. Instead, they pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanors and received probation.

They've said their prosecutions were politically motivated and their arrests were an attempt to stifle political dissent. Ramsey County Judge Teresa Warner says that wasn't the case.