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Web Extra: Two of St. Patty's Day Seven Could Be Retried 

Charges dropped for all except Fineron and Verlo

The city attorney's office has dropped charges against five of the seven peace marchers arrested in the 2007 St. Patrick's Day parade, according to defense attorney Greg Walta.

The seven marchers were charged with intentionally blocking the parade route, leading to a trial that ended in August with a hung jury.

Elizabeth Fineron and Eric Verlo still face charges, though Walta says they have been offered a deferred adjudication meaning they would plead guilty on the condition that the conviction would be removed from their records if they did not re-offend within a given period of time.

Verlo says he'll take the deferred judgment only if police agree to admit that they acted inappropriately in the arrests, and agree to policy changes and reform to protect citizens' freedom of speech.

"The police were abusive in their execution of this, so if I have the opportunity to hold their feet to the fire and until they realize they're wrong, I'll do it," he says.

Fineron could not immediately be reached for comment, but Verlo says she is in poor health and was recently hospitalized. He speculated that she might consider agreeing to a deferred judgment because of her health.

Walta has said he will not handle Verlo and Fineron's cases any longer. He is currently looking for new representation for the two.

Bill Durland, whose charges were dropped, says he'll stand by his friends.

"I would hope that they wouldn't retry any of us, and I certainly will give my help and support to the two that are going to be tried if that comes to pass," Durland says.

stanley@csindy.com

  • Charges dropped for all except Fineron and Verlo

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