Eric McDavid - Court Report from 9/11

  • Posted on: 12 September 2007
  • By: worker

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Report from Sacramento Prisoner Support:

Yesterday we learned that Eric has finally been given commissary again! This is the first step towards a stable vegan diet for Eric.

Please continue to call the jail and request that Eric be given vegan meals. We have been told that Lt. Ilg is responsible for the decision to deny Eric food. You may want to request to speak to him when you call. <br>
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916-874-6752
916-874-6905

Please make sure that you have Eric's x-reference number handy in case they ask for it: x-2972521

Day 2: Court update September 11

The entire day was taken up by US Attorney Steve Lapham's direct examination of the government informant known as "Anna". The prosecution asked for an order that she be referred to as "Anna" through the trial and that her real name never be used. The defense did not object and the order was granted. She was sworn in by her real name next to the judge so only he and the attorneys could hear her. After being sworn in and identifying Eric McDavid as "an anarchist I met while working undercover for the FBI", she told her story of how she came to be an "employee" of the Bureau. She said she was a 17 year old sophomore at a junior college in Florida who wanted to impress her political science professor with an extra credit project. She heard in the news about the FTAA protests in Miami and decided to infiltrate it for her project. She says that the first day she when to the protests people were suspicious of her efforts because of her appearance. She then "went to the goodwill to find the rattiest clothes possible, something the protesters might like". She said she was accepted once she began imitating the protesters aesthetic and was able to infiltrate some kind of group that was planning for the FTAA protest. She said that "the majority of activists are normal citizens engaging in legal protests" whereas there is an anarchist minority engaged in "property destruction, violence, vandalism and trampling people's rights". Anna stated that she presented the paper on her undercover operation to her political science class and they liked it. Apparently there was someone from the Florida investigators office enrolled in the class who was very taken by her work and approached her to ask if he could share it with his supervisor. Apparently his supervisor liked it and it went up the chain of command. At that point the Miami police department called to interview her along with the FBI. After the completion of that interview she was offered work with the FBI. At the request of the FBI, 17 year old Anna went to the G8 in Georgia, the Democratic National Convention in Boston and the Republican National Convention in New York City to surveil the protesters. She said that she was asked to give the FBI "real time" cell phone reports on illegal activities at the protests. Her examples were giving "breakaway march" locations or "if there was a rumor that there was a black bloc". She said that at the G8 she was working undercover at the Independent Media Center. After the G8 she traveled to Boston before the DNC "to meet the organizers and listen to their plans". She says that they had no plans for illegal actions. None the less, she came to Boston for the DNC and met with the organizers again. In Boston she says that the illegal activities that she advised the FBI on was a banner drop and a paper mache molotov cocktail. She claims that she met someone at DNC that invited her to the crimethinc convergence in Des Moines, which she described as a very exclusive event. She says that she met Eric at Crimethinc in Des Moines and "at the time I thought he was inconsequential". When asked by the US Attorney (USA) if she reported on Eric she said "I mentioned he was there." When asked by the USA if that was common she said "I reported on lots of people". Anna stated that after crimethinc she received a reimbursement for her expenses and a lump sum payment which she claims was totally unexpected. She says that her deal with the FBI was only for reimbursements and that the payments (there was more than one) were always a surprise. After RNC Anna said "I felt that my obligation to them and my agreement was over", meaning that after RNC felt she no longer worked for the FBI. She states that she was asked by the Miami FBI, at the suggestion of the secret service, to attend the protests against the inauguration in 2005. She states that she was asked to give reports on anyone dangerous there, but that "nothing happened". She was then asked by the Philadelphia FBI to attend the biotech protests in 2005. She claims that she had not kept in touch with Eric after Crimethinc and heard from him sporadically. She wanted to meet up with him in Philly because as she said "I was going to use him to gain access to protesters there, enhance my credibility and gain access to the convergence center". She met with Eric and Jenson in Philadelphia, where they all stayed at Lauren Weiner's apartment (this was the first time Anna and Weiner had met). Anna claims that at this point Eric seemed "radicalized" since the time she had seen him in Des Moines. The USA brought up an incident in Philadelphia where a cop died of a heart attack during a protest, and Anna claims that Eric expressed wishes he could have participated in the cop's death. There is no recording or other evidence of this statement, which the government refers to often in their case against Eric. Anna claims that at the Bio protests, Eric told her he had missed her and had things to tell her but that there were "too many ears around." She reported this back to the Philadelphia FBI who then did a background check and Eric came up on a FBI "persons of interest list" from Sacramento. Apparently this was due to an investigation of a friend of Eric's named Ryan Lewis who was accused of participating in property destruction in Auburn, CA. The FBI told Anna to pursue Eric at this point to try to find out about illegal activities in California. Anna next went to the Crimethinc convergence in Bloomington, IN, after picking Eric up in West Virginia. She reported that this convergence was much larger than the last, with a wider range of skill shares and workshops. Upon her arrival in Bloomington she found time to sneak away and meet with the FBI, who were particularly interested in her reporting to them on any possible illegal protests surrounding the construction of the I-69 highway. During this Crimethinc convergence, Anna claims that Eric took her to a prison support workshop, where he told her he had a buddy looking at 40 years (which she claims was a reference to Ryan Lewis). Anna claims that Zach Jenson and Eric attended an Urban Guerrilla Warfare workshop (she did not attend the workshop), where attacking federal buildings was discussed. Jenson allegedly said he thought it was a great idea, and Anna says Eric "nodded vigorously" in agreement. After the Crimethinc convergence, Anna drove Eric to Chicago. During this car ride, Anna claims that she asked Eric about what he had said in Philadelphia about "something big." She also asked him about Lewis. Eric told her about Lewis, and said that Lewis had performed his actions too close to home. Anna asked Eric if he had been involved and he allegedly told her no, but that he had his own plans. Anna claims that he listed a number of targets. At this point Anna alleged that Eric threatened to kill her if she was a cop. This is another claim the government has made repeatedly about Eric, with absolutely no proof (other than Anna's word). This conversation was not recorded. Anna alleges that at this point Eric asked her to join him in a bombing campaign in the winter, in her role as medic. Anna saw Eric again in August 2005, very briefly, outside of Weiner's apartment. At this time Anna told Eric that she was interested in joining him, and he allegedly asked her to find him a chemical equivalency list. She agreed. Anna did not see Eric again until November of 05, and claims to have had sporadic email contact with him during this time period. The FBI wanted her to gather more information and find out where he was at the time. (Anna claims that during her time undercover, she had to find the "dirtiest clothes" she could produce, and that "I was quite disgusting.") In November, the FBI became "concerned" that Eric hadn't made contact, so they "formulated" a plan to get the group to the west coast where Eric was. Anna made contact with the members of the group and asked if they could meet and discuss their plans. At this point she began insisting on flying Weiner to California. Upon her arrival in California in November, Anna met with the Sacramento FBI, who told her to attend the meeting, listen to any mention of targets and tactics, and to keep her safety in mind. They also allegedly gave her further instructions as to what her role in the group should be - specifically that she should never suggest, don't be a leader, and not to give info unless she was asked for it. Anna picked Weiner and Jenson up in Sacramento then drove them Eric's family's home, where the 4 were meeting. Eric allegedly gave the group copies of an interview with Derrick Jensen, which she claims was the basis for much of his thought. During the evening the group sat around a fire pit on the back porch, where they allegedly talked about their "plot," recipes, targets, etc. Anna claims that at this time her body wire was not functioning because she had accidentally switched it off earlier in the evening. She claims that during this time Eric made a statement that even by having the conversation they were participating in a conspiracy and that it was bordering terrorism. Eric allegedly told the group that he had a recipe for C4 and that he wanted more recipes. The group also allegedly had discussion about how they would claim responsibility after their actions (whether or not to use an ELF tag). During the weekend, the group decided to meet after Christmas. Anna volunteered to procure a cabin for them (which she had been instructed to do by the FBI - allegedly for her safety). The government then spent a fair amount of time going over an email between Anna and Eric which had been coded - the email was from Anna to Eric and contained a recipe for explosives. Eric allegedly asked Anna for the recipe at the meeting in November. Anna claims that the recipe was a "safe bomb" recipe - that the FBI would never give them a real, working recipe. In January, Anna drove Jenson and Weiner from the east coast (DC) to the cabin in Dutch Flat, CA. At this point Anna introduced the "Burn Book" to the group, telling them that they should record any recipes, plans, shopping lists, etc. Much of the first part of the book is taken up with recipes that Anna wrote in. There are also lists of discussion topics (such as "Select targets" "Surveillance" and the accidental death of civilians). Anna claims that Eric brought up the "accidental death of civilians" topic and that he voiced his opinion that it was ok if civilians were killed because they were just "fence sitters." The government played a surveillance recording to back up this claim. The group traveled to Nimbus and Folsom dams, then to the Institute of Forest Genetics. They were allegedly doing reconnaissance at these locations and assessing their value as possible targets. On the 11th of January, the group traveled to San Francisco to visit chemical supply stores, to do research, and to allow Jenson to sell some of his writings. None of the chemical supply stores were open to the public, so the group stopped at a Wal-Mart in Sacramento on their return to Dutch Flat, where they allegedly purchased materials to construct an explosive device. On January 12, Eric was playing with the stereo in Anna's car and the recording device hidden there fell out into Eric's hand. Anna was able to play it off as an old car falling apart, but claims that she was very shaken by the event. Later in the day, the group was pulled over by a CHP officer when Anna ran a stop sign. She claims the group was a little upset with her, and that they were all shaken up by it. After another shopping trip, the group returned to the cabin where Anna claims Eric began "tearing into" the salt substitute and "mixing in earnest." She also claims that he began emptying the powder from shotgun shells and testing fuses. Anna claims that Weiner and Jenson were reluctant to participate at first, but then began to actively participate. This was after the government played a tape of Anna berating Lauren and Zach for not being involved After heating the mixture, the glass bowl they were using busted and their days work was lost. Anna claims that harsh words were exchanged the night of the 12th. They had an argument about people's level of involvement, and Anna said the argument escalated until she no longer felt comfortable in the group. She said a great amount of evidence had been lost, her stress level was sky high, her role as an undercover had been compromised, and that she felt "excluded" from the group. She said she was confused about the conversation - that it had come out of left field and that the group seemed cohesive before that. She said everything was "coming apart at the seams" and that she felt like she was on the outside. She says she left the cabin to go for a walk and be alone. (At this point the government played a recording of the argument) During her walk to be alone, Anna met with the FBI agents and told them that she didn't feel as if she could continue much longer. When she left the meeting with them, she knew that the other three would be arrested the next day. The USA asked Anna if the argument was an indication that the plot was coming apart. She said no. When she returned to the cabin, the group told her that they had put together a schedule of how each day should be structured (meeting times, use of space, etc), which they said was a "gift" to her. She said this was an indication of the group preparing for the plan to go forward. Eric, Weiner and Jenson were all arrested the next morning outside of a Kmart shopping center. The USA concluded his direct examination of Anna by going back over her compensation from the FBI. She said she received approximately $65,000 over two years. $35,000 was for reimbursable expenses (gas, food, hotel, flights) and that $31,000 (plus change) was given to her in lump sums, sporadically throughout her work.

After today, we will not be in court again until Monday, September 17 at 9am. Please come show your support for Eric! Make sure you come dressed appropriately for court. And keep in mind that in the interests of Eric's case, it is best for no one to speak with the media except for Eric's lawyer.