A third set of defendants have changed their pleas to charges related to the 2013 takeover of an Oroville tribe’s offices.
As with two previous sets of defendants, Donald Hedrick, Emanuel Lee, Teresa Lee, Robertha Timmons and Robert Wagner pleaded no contest to an added count of misdemeanor trespass of a structure or land not open to the general public.
Co-defendant Kathy Ann Frazier had been scheduled to be with the others Wednesday, but it was announced that she died Dec. 23.
The defendants had been charged in Butte County Superior Court with felony vandalism for the May 16, 2013, incident at the Tyme Maidu Tribal Offices near Gold Country Casino.
The incident was reportedly over a tribal disenrollment vote for four individuals who were subsequently disenrolled. During the standoff, 19 people locked themselves inside the office, causing what officials estimated to be $20,000 in damage to property including walls, windows and computers.
In court, Hedrick told Judge Tamara Mosbarger that the defendants had been standing for those who couldn’t speak for themselves in the Berry Creek Rancheria tribal membership issue, including those that were too young or feared repercussions.
Outside of court, he said the defendants would come together as a family and hope that what happened to them didn’t happen with other tribes. Many of the tribal membership issues around the country are happening because of money, Hedrick said.
Timmons said the situation was crazy. “Our family started it and our family is kicked out,” she said.