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Judge Rejects Separate Trial for Earth First 3/8 Co-Founder

December 21, 1990 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) _ A judge Friday refused to grant a separate trial for Earth First 3/8 co- founder David Foreman, one of five militant environmentalists accused of plotting attacks on nuclear power plants.

Foreman and the others are charged with conspiring to sabotage a nuclear power plant and destruction of an energy facility.

But Foreman’s attorney argued Friday that his client did not know about additional actions of the other four and should be tried separately.

Defense attorney Gary Spence said the bulk of the charges against Foreman stemmed from the distribution of a book he had edited and published entitled ″Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching.″

Foreman helped found Earth First 3/8 10 years ago and resigned from the organization last summer.

U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield rejected Spence’s argument and arraigned the other four defendants, who face additional charges of malicious destruction of property, destruction of property of an energy facility and depredation of government property.

Mark Leslie Davis, Margaret Katherine Millett, Marc Andre Baker and Ilse Washington Asplund, all of Prescott, pleaded innocent. They were released on bond.

Broomfield set a Dec. 26 arraignment for Foreman and an April 2 trial date for all five.

Davis, Baker and Millett were arrested in May 1989 as they allegedly tried to cut down a power pole west of Phoenix with a propane torch. The arrests were made by FBI agents, working with an undercover agent who infiltrated the group.

The original indictment against the three and Foreman alleged they planned to topple the power pole as a training exercise for a broader attack on lines leading to three nuclear power plants, including the Palo Verde Plant 50 miles west of Phoenix.

Asplund was added as a defendant in an second indictment issued last week, which alleges Davis and Millett sabotaged a ski lift at Fairfield Snowbowl Ski Resort near Flagstaff on Oct. 5, 1987.

It also claims Davis, Millett, Asplund and Baker cut through 29 power poles leading to the Canyon Uranium Mine south of the Grand Canyon on Sept. 27, 1988.

Davis and Baker additionally are charged with using a torch to cut around the base of the top pylon of the main chair lift at Snowbowl on Oct. 25, 1988.