Eric King’s trial is for a charge he acquired while in prison for allegedly “assaulting” a Federal Bureau of Prisons officer in 2018. According to King, he was the one who was assaulted that day by a correctional officer. Follow our trial updates here. | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four |
Eric King was found Not Guilty at 6:00 p.m. on 3/18/22 for the charge of assaulting a federal officer.
Check out our article: Anarchist Prisoner Eric King Found Not Guilty in Assault of Prison Guard
The jury began deliberations at 4:00 p.m. on 3/17/22.
On August 17, 2018, a violent encounter between political prisoner Eric King and Lieutenant Donald Wilcox took place at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Florence in Colorado. Allegedly earlier that morning, an officer was assaulted by an inmate, and King sent an e-mail to his wife mentioning it. According to Wilcox, he wanted to interview King because the e-mail concerned him and he thought King may pose as a threat to the prison staff. When King arrived outside the lieutenants’ offices, Wilcox says he escorted King to a “vacant office adjacent to the offices occupied by other lieutenants.”
Alternatively, King says while he was standing in the hallway waiting for Wilcox, Lieutenant Jeffrey Kammrad and Wilcox both came out of the captain’s office and told King to follow them, leading him to a mop closet.
What happened next is at the core of this trial, and what’s under heavy dispute. Wilcox alleges that King punched him in the face after he asked King about the e-mail. However King claims Wilcox brought him to the closet, knowing there was no video surveillance, to yell at him, shove him and punch him twice. King admits he punched Wilcox, but only in self-defense after he was attacked.
After the incident, King was placed into a four-point restraint for over seven hours. Four days later, King was transferred to United States Penitentiary (USP) Leavenworth in Kansas.
He was eventually charged with assault on a federal officer causing bodily injury, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111(a)(1), (b).
King had an evidentiary hearing on October 14, 2022, which Unicorn Riot covered and provided live tweets. Check out our threads below.
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Eric King as a Political Prisoner
King has been incarcerated since his arrest on September 16, 2014, after he attempted a molotov cocktail attack on a congressional office in Kansas City, MO five days prior.
After his sentencing, King spoke on the phone to his support crew:
“I stand by my actions. After seeing what happened in Ferguson, so close down the road, I was disgusted by the lack of mobilization in my city. Three hours away people were fighting for their lives and we weren’t even taking to the streets. We were doing nothing. My act as a very personal display of my anger and rage toward the state as well as an act of solidarity to everyone in Ferguson. We never know our own strength until we are tested and even with my ridiculous sentence I feel at least proud to have been able to stand strong and refuse to cooperate with the state.”Eric King
With his 1.5 years served prior to sentencing counted toward the 10, King has about 3 more years left in prison for his original charges. However because of the April 2018 incident, he now faces an additional 20 years.
He’s been held at the FCI Englewood facility in Colorado for almost two and a half years. He shared his experiences and treatment there to Solitary Watch:
“Let me tell you about my physical existence. It is not pretty. The cells here are the smallest I have ever experienced. I am not certain they could literally get any smaller. 6 x 8 feet—double bunked. These cells were built for troubled children in the 1930s. This is not supposed to be a long term segregation unit, and it only becomes such for people like myself. Then it gets really overwhelming and mentally exhausting. That’s the Bureau’s game plan; shatter spirit, disrupt, dissent, blame you for the horrors of this SHU, then expect lapdog loyalty when they give out small comforts.”Eric King
Trial Coverage Below
Judge William J. Martinez, who is presiding over the trial, issued a trial decorum order restricting the amount of people allowed to attend the trial in person, what can be brought inside the courtroom, and more. Throughout the entire trial, however, there will be a public telephone access line: 877-336-1828 and enter access code 9449909#.
To view all of the legal documents associated with the trial, visit the Civil Liberties Defense Center, the legal group representing King.
The prosecution team consists of: Acting U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron M. Teitelbaum and Valeria Spencer, and an agent from the FBI.
The defense team consists of: Senior Staff Attorneys Lauren Reagan and Sandra Freeman, Staff Attorney Sarah Alvarez, and Communications & Development Associate Sara Flinn. All are part of the Civil Liberties Defense Center.
Day 1, 3/14/22: Court session began at 9:55 a.m. this morning.
Summary: The 12 jury members with 1 alternate were officially chosen at 3:00 p.m. Attorney Teitelbaum for the government started his opening statement by saying on the date of August 17, 2018, King struck Wilcox’s face, breaking his nose and injuring his eye. He showed part of the e-mail King sent to his wife earlier that day, and paraphrased that King expressed his satisfaction that in the morning, a different inmate allegedly assaulted a lieutenant. He explained that the other officers thought King could pose a threat due to the e-mail. Teitelbaum said Wilcox was doing his job by seeking out an interview with King. He said Lt. Wilcox will testify and that King took his opportunity to experience the satisfaction the inmate earlier in the day got. Teitelbaum also shared photos of Wilcox’s bloody shirt and King’s face. He asked the jury to carefully notice the contrast of the injuries between King and Wilcox.
Then one of King’s attorney’s Lauren Regan started her opening statement by mentioning how the excerpt of the e-mail shared by the prosecution in their opening statement didn’t show the whole thing. She shared a part of it that was left out—“I hope that the weight of every prisoner who has been disrespected, felt belittled, felt less than human by any guard or Lt ever was behind that punch.” She also mentioned the e-mail was sent to his wife. Regan said this is a case about finger pointing and that King was brought to a mop closet. She showed a picture of the storage closet. She told the jury they’ll hear some correctional officers saying it is an interview room. She said King had a black eye and Wilcox had a bloody nose.
She said how King has always said he punched Wilcox, but in self defense. However, she said, Wilcox has said different stories. She said this was between one man who is a large prison guard with that privilege and position, and King who is a smaller person and an inmate. Regan ended her statement by telling the jury that they won’t hear consistent stories from the prison guards, and that is reasonable doubt.
Teitelbaum called the government’s first witness, Donald Wilcox. Wilcox said he was an admin lieutenant on August 17, 2018 at FCI Florence. Teitelbaum asked him if he knew Eric King before that day, and Wilcox said he didn’t. Wilcox said he was asked to interview King, and mentioned another lieutenant who was allegedly assaulted by a different inmate earlier that morning. Wilcox said the meeting with King started outside the lieutenants’ office. He said he doesn’t remember who he asked to tell King to go to the office. When King arrived he seemed agitated according to Wilcox.
Wilcox explained the multiple offices in the hallway of the lieutenants’ office. He said the “4th office” was a transitory office with extra stuff in it such as a desk and cleaning supplies. He said SIS conducts interviews in there. Before the interview between Teitelbaum and Wilcox arrived at what allegedly happened in the 4th room, Judge Martinez asked to recess until tomorrow.
Today’s Twitter thread:
Day 2, 3/15/22: Court session began at 8:45 a.m.
Summary: Wilcox returned to the stand. Teitelbaum (prosecution) continued direct questioning. Wilcox said once him and King were in the “office,” he hoped to start the interview and hoped King would be calmer, but Wilcox said King was still agitated. “I didn’t get very much in,” Wilcox said. He alleged King was moving around and moving his arms and then one arm moved toward his face and he was struck. He said he didn’t remember anything until the other staff arrived because King “wrung his bell.”
Lauren Regan (defense) began cross examination. She asked if Wilcox was alone in the hallway before going into the 4th room, he said there may have been one or two others. She asked him if he had testified earlier that he was alone. He said no. She asked if he was alone in the 4th room, he said no, there may have been another person. He said he wasn’t asked before if there was another person with him or not.
Regan asked if Wilcox has seen the video of him and King in the hallway, he said no. Regan published the video in the court. Regan asked if the person wearing a white shirt is Wilcox, and he said “I can’t tell, but I am assuming it’s me.” Regan asked, “so you didn’t leave from the lieutenant’s office?” The video showed that person walk from a different direction from where Wilcox said he did earlier in his testimony. Regan mentioned how Wilcox called the 4th room a “transitory office,” she then asked if orderly’s are allowed to go in and out of that room without direct supervision, he said they have loose supervision. He confirmed there were cleaning supplies in the room.
Regan listed off the supplies: a rake, cart with cleaning supplies, toilet paper, spray bottles, trash bags. Wilcox said those items were probably in there. Regan reminded him that he said he asked King to sit, he responded by saying there is usually a chair with the desk. Regan asked if the materials in the room would be considered weapons to an inmate, which he said yes to. She asked him, “but this is a room you considered fine to interview King inside where those materials are at arms’ length?” He answered yes.
She asked if Wilcox believed King was a possible threat to staff, he said that was a possibility. Regan asked if, as a former tool manager, he was aware of the potential dangerous items in the closet, he said yes. Regan brought up again the types of materials in the closet and asked if those could be used as weapons against him, Wilcox said yes.
Regan asked about SIS Lieutenant Cordova. She asked if he sent Wilcox an e-mail about King’s e-mail. She asked if he remembers Cordova running late to the interview. Wilcox said yes, but that he said he could start without him. Regan asked if Cordova wanted him to wait. He said no. Wilcox said he was very sure he was asked and not that he offered to take it over the interview of King. Regan asked if Wilcox remembered Cordova asking him to wait for him, Wilcox responds by saying if Cordova asked him to do it, then Cordova wouldn’t need to be there.
Regan asked if Kammrad was inside the interview room with Wilcox and King, Wilcox said he may have been inside at the beginning. Regan asked if Kammrad returned to the interview room, Wilcox said he believed he returned. Wilcox said he left to take care of paperwork.
Government then called their next witness, a family nurse practitioner who worked at St. Thomas More. During cross, Sandra Freeman (defense) asked if Wilcox told her things were fuzzy, or if he blacked out or lost consciousness, she said no to all of those. The former nurse said if he had answered yes to those questions, she would have been concerned about a head injury, but she wasn’t concerned. Freeman asked if the former nurse saw hemorrhaging in his eye. She said yes, but that any type of exertion could cause that.
Government called their next witness, Jeffrey Kammrad. Kammrad said he was the operations lieutenant on Aug 17, 2018. Kammrad said he didn’t know King prior to that day. Kammrad said Cordova spoke to him briefly about how King was coming to the lieutenants’ office. Kammrad said he ID’ed King. Inmates carry a picture ID with their name and number on it. King showed him his ID. Kammrad said King seemed “not good” and King said he already knew why he was there. Kammrad said Wilcox came up at that point. Wilcox told Kammrad to continue working on the packet and that he would handle speaking with King.
Kammrad says he heard noises that stopped him from working, but he didn’t hear voices. He got up and walked fast to the interview room. Kammrad says there were pools and sprays of blood. He didn’t see people right away. He got closer, then he say Wilcox and King. He saw Wilcox backed up against the lockers, he was wobbly, you could definitely tell “he got his bell rung.” He says he saw his nose was bloody. Kammrad says King was throwing punches at Wilcox, Kammrad says he saw King punch Wilcox in his forearm. Wilcox’s left arm was up in the air, he grabbed Wilcox’s collar and moved him behind him. Kammrad says King is still attempting to assault Wilcox. Kammrad called for back-up.
Kammrad says Correctional Officer White and Lieutenant Reynolds arrived. White got on top of King, trying to get him to cuff up. Spencer asked if White getting on top of King is an inmate control technique, he says yes.
Regan asks what Kammrad was wearing on August 17, 2018, he said he was wearing a black stab-proof vest. Regan asks if Kammrad was working on the incident paperwork, he says yes. She asks Kammrad what the gazebo video camera is. She asks if the exhibit on his screen is the gazebo video footage, she asks him to confirm the date and time. She asks if Kammrad sees someone walking up from the gazebo, he says yes. She says do you see that person is wearing a white shirt and black vest. She asks what’s over there beyond the gazebo. She asks if he arrived at the office after King got there. He says that he doesn’t know if he was there first and then left, he isn’t sure if the person in the white shirt and black vest is him in the video.
During the afternoon break, the defense ends up taking screen grabs of each of the staff who spoke in the post-incident debrief video to see what everyone who responded to the incident was wearing. Before going through the screen grabs with Kammrad, Alvarez showed the gazebo video again, asking if in the video it’s someone and Wilcox walking in the lieutenant’s office. Kammrad said yeah it’s someone, but he didn’t know if it was him. Alvarez said if it is him, then he wasn’t doing the paperwork at that time. Alvarez then went through the screen grabs with Kammrad and asked him: from those screen grabs, as the only person wearing a white shirt and black vest, if that was him returning to the lieutenants’ office from the gazebo, and he said he is still not sure.
Alvarez asks about an interview Kammrad did in October 2021 where he said he saw King punch Wilcox in the face. He doesn’t remember, so he reviews the document. Alvarez asks Kammrad where he saw King strike Wilcox, he now says facial area and forearm. Alvarez asks if he lied in October 2021. He says no.
Government’s next witness was Leann Reynolds. She’s worked for BOP for over 20 years. Reynolds said she was the activities lieutenant and that on Aug 17, 2018 she was working the daywatch shift from 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. She said she worked with the operations lieutenant. On that day, she heard noises that may have been an altercation and that alerted her. Kammrad, who was in the office next to hers, started walking to the interview room, then she followed. Reynolds said Kammrad entered the doorway, and Wilcox was coming out of the doorway backwards, as if he was being pushed. She saw blood on his shirt and face, and said he had a surprised look on his face as he fell backwards.
Reynolds said King’s back was against the wall and was moving toward Kammrad. She said she and Kammrad took King to the ground. They cuffed him with her cuffs.
Motions and Logistics Summary: After the lunch break before the jury entered the courtroom, Judge Martinez asked for an update from the government. Spencer spoke about talking to people who work at the FCI Englewood prison where King is currently staying. The command staff knew the trial was coming up, and the captain decided that when the trial began, King would go to FCC. The FCC is a different building on the Englewood campus than the FCI. But last night they decided to put King back in FCI because there were some errors at FCC. Spencer said King was away from his property for 15 minutes. She said they will place King in FCC tonight.
Spencer said King is not going to be placed on suicide watch with increased surveillance, and that that was never the plan according to her. The judge asked what unit King will be placed in, and if there will be increased surveillance. Spencer said no. The judge asked the marshal for an update. He said he dropped King off at the FCC side yesterday. Judge asked about tonight. Marshal said FCC side. Regan asked for clarification about what side. The marshal said once he gets confirmation from Englewood, he will bring King to the appropriate side. Regan asked for an evidentiary hearing with the BOP employees, and also asked about a motion about FCI Englewood.
She mentioned that King was supposed to stay in FCI Englewood for the duration of the trial. Judge asked what her concern is. Regan said according to King there is no cell in the FCC other than a suicide cell. They apparently have two holding cells, no housing cells. The judge said “your client is misinformed.” The judge said Spencer is telling the truth that he won’t be put in a suicide watch cell. Regan said access to his legal documents is his fundamental right, and according to King it was 2.5 hours without them, not 15 minutes.
The judge said he would be surprised if BOP undertakes another effort to separate the defendant from his legal papers. He said he’s not going to make an order based on what may happen. The judge said if it turns out to be the case, tomorrow morning we will have a very different issue. Regan said the acts toward King by BOP staff seem retaliatory and calculated. Regan asked if King is transported to an FCC cell tonight, that photographs be taken of the cell so they can all have subjective evidence of whether it is punitive or not.
Spencer objected to “the whole tone” of Regan’s comment. Spencer thought taking photographs is beyond what anyone can do. Judge denied evidentiary hearing and the photographs. Judge said the defendant needs to not be separated from his legal docs and needs to be able to contact his legal counsel. The judge said King has done nothing to show a need, and there is no evidence, for a heightened security risk. The judge said he expects there not to be heightened surveillance of his cell.
After court ended for the day, the judge went over some logistics. He said he is worried about how long the defense’s cross exams were today, so he will probably start holding them to their estimated times, with a 5-minute leeway. He said he didn’t want to cramp the abilities of the defense, but he wanted to try and keep the trial to 4 days because the jury is planning on 4 days. He said jurors can get angry and frustrated. Judge said he could push to Friday morning for closing statements and send jury off to deliberate late Friday morning, but he doesn’t want to have it any longer.
Today’s Twitter thread:
Day 3, 3/16/22: Court session began at 8:45 a.m.
Summary: The government called their next witness, Sarina Baroney (possibly misspelled). She is a family nurse practitioner for the BOP. She’s been an NP for 6 years. And an RN for almost 20 years. Teitelbaum asked where she was working on Aug 17, 2018. She said she was in the FCI Florence prison. She worked the 6-2 shifts, she was the “mid-level” provider, there was one other provider like her. Each of them took care of half of the inmate pop, so approximately 500 inmates. Teitelbaum asked about her checking out King after the incident. He asked if it was on video, she said yes. He offered the video into evidence, but it was not published yet. He asked if she asked King if he felt pain. She said yes.
The NP asked to review her notes to recollect. It was allowed. She reviewed her notes. She said King said he was at a 7 out of 10 pain level, he said his face hurt and he was having difficult breathing. Teitelbaum asked if he reported pain in his wrists, she said yes. Teitelbaim asked if she saw any injuries, she said no. He asked about King’s demeanor, she said calm. End of direct examination.
Freeman began cross examination. She asked if the video shows the entirety of the medical assessment of King. RN said yes. Freeman pointed out the video was only a few minutes long. Freeman asked if the 7 out of 10 range is closer to severe than mild, the nurse said pain is personal, but yes. Freeman asked if the nurse touched King’s face and inspected his head, the nurse said no, it wasn’t relevant. Freeman asked it wasn’t relevant? Nurse said no, it wasn’t. Freeman asked if the nurse asked King why he was in pain, the nurse said no.
Teitelbaum called next witness, the nurse’s husband, Ronald Batouche. Teitelbaum brought up Aug 17, 2018. Batouche said he worked at FCI Florence. He said when he first saw Wilcox, he brought him back to the trauma room and provided a medical assessment. He determined Wilcox had a broken nose. His right eye appeared to be forming a blood clot. End of direct examination.
Cross began. Freeman asked if he heard the staff assistance call on Aug 17, 2018, he said yes and he went to the scene. Freeman asked if Wilcox was alert and knew where he was, he says yes, that he walked to medical with him but didn’t need to help Wilcox walk. Freeman asked what the neuro-check was that he did on Wilcox. He said he asked him questions to gauge his cognitive ability. He said his vision was fine. Freeman asked if there are different ways someone can get a burst blood vessel in the eye, he said yes. She asked if Wilcox said he went unconscious, blacked out, fell, or that he turned his head away and was hit by King, he said no to all of it.
The government rests their case. The defense called their first witness, Officer Kevin Carol. He said he worked at FCI Florence in August 17, 2018. He said he saw King that day in front of the lieutenants’ office on the concrete. He said King was face down on the concrete. Freeman asked how many officers he remembers seeing. He said he didn’t remember. Freeman asked if there were a lot. He said yes. Freeman asked what he remembers seeing King doing when he arrived, he said laying on the ground, not yelling or swearing. She asked if King said something, he said yes.
Defense called next witness, Richard White. Freeman asked where White was employed on Aug 17, 2018. White said FCI Florence. He was walking past the Lt.’s office around 1:45 p.m and saw Lt. Reynolds outside and walked up to her. White said he and Reynolds heard noises and walked toward the 4th room. He saw Wilcox walking out of the room backward with his nose bleeding. Freeman asked where King was, he said he was going to the ground inside to the left of the doorway. Freeman asked who else was in the room, he said himself, Reynolds, King, and Kammrad. She asked if Kammrad was before or behind him, he said Kammrad was in front. She asked if King was compliant when he entered the room, he said yes.
He said after they left the office, they placed King on the ground on the concrete and that’s when King said things. Judge reminded White he can’t say what King said due to a condition by counsel.
The next witness was Kelly Gutierez. She’s worked for the BOP for almost 10 years. She worked for the evidence recovery team. She inspects and photographs crime scenes, and takes evidence. She said she heard the call for staff assistance. She went to the incident. Defense asked if Gutierez collected Wilcox’s clothes at medical, she said yes. Then she confirmed she went back to the Lt’s office to look at the scene. Defense put up exhibits taken by Gutierez’s team at the incident scene.
After lunch break, defense brought her back to the meeting with Wilcox in medical. Gutierez said she was there to get his shirt from him. Defense asked what Wilcox told her. She said she didn’t remember exactly, but something like he was interviewing inmate King and then he punched him in the face. Defense asked, he said “are we good” first right? And then he said he got punched in the face? She said yes. Defense asked if Gutierez would consider the 4th room as a storage room, she said she named it the “storage room” in her evidence report to differentiate.
Defense’s next witness was Jason Troll, a nurse, and the questioning was over a video call. Troll said he was testifying from his home in Kansas City. He works at Leavenworth Prison, he said he’s been a nurse since 1998. He said he was working at the prison on Aug 17, 2018. Defense asked if he did an intake for King. Troll said he doesn’t remember the date, but agreed it must have been what the medical sheet is dated, August 21, 2018. Troll said he does intakes for new inmates, screens them, puts them in the computer, goes over any medications, etc. Defense asked how long an intake screening takes, he said 10-15 minutes. Defense asked if he noticed any injuries. He said a black eye on the left side. Defense asked if he gave King any pain medication that day. He said after reviewing his records to recall, that he put in an order for pain medication on Aug 21, 2018.
Judge Martinez stateed that the next witness was the defendant. He advised King of his Miranda rights. King said he understood them. King said he wished to testify. Prosecution reminded King he is subject to cross-examination. Defense said they are aware. Defense asked what it has been like being in prison. He said it sucks, that prison is not like normal life. Prison is built around violence, who can have the most power, who can take the most power, it’s run by gangs and the tough guys. King said it creates an intense environment. He said you develop a dark sense of humor, similar to a soldier or mortician. He said, so you can laugh off things so they don’t destroy you. Defense asked prior to Aug 17, 2018, did King partake in programming. King said, “Oh, did I,” he taught yoga and was paid $15/month, he did legal work for himself and others, he went to the chapel, he took a class about 7 ways to be successful.
He began talking about Aug 17, 2018. He said he went to work teaching yoga. Then he heard there was a lockdown happening, and so every inmate had to go back to their cell immediately and get locked in. King said when he was locked down, the officers walked around counting the inmates, and he asked what happened, an officer told him a CO was attacked by an inmate. King said his wife just had thyroid cancer surgery a few days before, and he wanted to e-mail his family. He said he raced to the computer after the lockdown was over because he wanted to see how his wife was doing. He said he wanted to cheer her up, make her laugh, etc. Defense asked if that was the purpose of his e-mail. He said yeah to make her chuckle.
Regan asked what he meant when he wrote about how he hoped prisoners who had been disrespected by guards were behind the punch, King said there is a separation between BOP and prisoners, that each look after each other’s backs. He said prisoners get treated poorly. Regan asked what King meant by being able to see it or experience it by VR, he said he doesn’t want to be in that situation ever in real life. King said he knows every e-mail is read and if he thought it would be seen as a threat, he wouldn’t have written it.
Regan asked, at some point were you summoned to the Lt.’s office? He said yes. She asked if he knew why he was summoned. He said he didn’t know. King said when he first arrived in the area of the Lt.’s office, he walked through the door and saw the captain’s office door was open. Wilcox walked out and patted him down, then walked away for a few minutes. King said he was sitting in the hall on a bench for the few minutes. Kammrad walked over to King, Wilcox also came back. King stood up. Kammrad is behind him. King said that Wilcox said “You don’t want to see this” to another CO walking by. It made him feel nervous.
King said Wilcox led the way, King was behind, then Kammrad was behind King. Defense put up more exhibits of the Lt.’s office, King described what a Lt. office space looks like, a desk, chairs, monitors, printer, “it feels like a professional setting.” He described the storage closet–big metal bins, metal rakes, mops, mop buckets. He said it’s uncomfortable. King said in Florence there is an “us vs them” mentality. He said you’re brought into the closet for an attitude adjustment.
King said he went into the closet, then Wilcox, then Kammrad blocked the doorway. King had never met Kammrad before. King said he felt horrible and scared. King said two large people in positions of power brought him in a small room. King said he is 5 foot 6.5 inches. He said Wilcox was 3-4 inches taller and at least 40 pounds more. Kammrad was similar. King said Wilcox stepped toward him and started berating him and said do you think it’s funny when an OC gets assaulted? I’m right here, why don’t you punch me? Are you a punk, a bitch? King said Wilcox kept going. King said I’m not going to punch you. Wilcox then indicated to Kammrad that he could leave. Kammrad left.
He said Wilcox gets more angry, and stepped in his face and started screaming more. King said Wilcox’s neck was bulging, his face was red, and King was getting spat on from Wilcox’s yelling. King said he fucked up and started laughing. He wasn’t buying into being belittled. After he laughed, King said Wilcox shoved him back, and King’s leg hit the mop bucket and his left arm smacked the cabinet behind him. After that push, King tried to stabilize himself. Then Wilcox punched him in the face. King tried to stand up, then Wilcox punched him again. King said it was probably Wilcox’s left hand because it was his right cheek. King said after the first punch “he saw stars,” and he thought he could get knocked out. King knew he was in trouble. He said if he got punched a 3rd time he could get seriously hurt, so he said he wasn’t going to let Wilcox punch him again. King punched Wilcox twice, he focused on precision and threw two quick punches.
King said after he threw the 2nd punch, Wilcox moved toward him, so King threw a 3rd punch, but when Wilcox moved his head away he threw his hands up in the air and said “it’s done.” Defense asked if the two punches to King hurt, he said yes, Wilcox has big hands. King was apprehensive of a response from any correctional officers who were going to come, King thought he was going to die or get seriously hurt. Defense asked if King tried to inform the officers who arrived what happened, he said yes. King said Kammrad came in and Kammrad said “King, what the hell did you do?” King said he didn’t want to do this, it was self-defense.
King moved down to his knees. He wanted things to go smoothly. King kept his hands on his head, and Kammrad and others helped him to the ground. King said he recognized voices but didn’t know who else. Defense asked if anyone else punched King in the face other than Wilcox, King said no. King said he was 100% certain that Wilcox punched him in the eye. King said he was not resisting arrest because that would have opened the door for them to destroy him.
Defense asks about King’s injuries. King says he could feel the pressure in his eye and in his face. Defense asked about his meeting with the BOP nurse. King said she didn’t ask for the reasons for his injuries. King said she didn’t feel his face for swelling or tenderness. King said no one provided him medical care to his injuries. King said later that night his eye swelled up and started closing up.
Direct is done. Cross began. Teitelbaum asked about boxing and punching techniques. He asked if it’s easier to throw a punch if someone has good balance, King said it can be easier. Teitelbaum brought up the e-mail King sent. He asked about the part of the e-mail where King said “you wanna hear great news?” Teitelbaum said, in your view guards are one team, and prisoners are one team? King said yes. Teitelbaum went back to direct testimony, he asked if King is not an inherently violent person like he said, King confirmed. Teitelbaum asked about why King thought he was being brought into the room, he said to encourage him to snitch or for an attitude adjustment.
The judge said that is a good time for a break. Teitelbaum requested the judge prevent King from speaking with his lawyers while he is not finished with cross, the judge said he does not do that and will not prevent King from speaking with his lawyers. Court ended for the day.
Motions and Logistics Summary: Before the jury was brought in for the morning, the defense brought up where King was housed last night. He was at the FCI, not the FCC like was told yesterday. King was without his property and legal papers until the evening. King was housed in an empty housing unit in the FCI. There was an inventory list created of King’s property, and the defense was waiting for a copy to see if his legal papers were looked through, which is against attorney-client privilege. Zachary Huffman with BOP said he contacted Englewood and explained why King was going to be at FCC, but then said King is now going to stay at FCI in the empty housing unit. He mentioned one reason is that King has “inappropriate” interactions with other inmates.
After the jury was excused for the day, defense said if they call the FBI agent, the agent’s previous testimony hasn’t been provided by the government yet. Judge said he doesn’t see FBI’s name on their witness list. Defense said her name was cross-designated. The government said at the pre-trial conference there was discussion if gov’t didn’t call her, then defense could. Gov’t said they would have problems with her grand jury testimony being released because since the gov’t wasn’t calling her as a witness, then they wouldn’t have the obligation to release it. Defense said they don’t want to cause hang-ups, but in understanding rule 6 restrictions, they said there are exceptions. Judge said as things stand now, he doesn’t think disclosure obligations will happen.
Today’s Twitter thread:
Day 4, 3/17/22: Court session began at 8:45 a.m.
Around noon, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the trial based on a faulty indictment. The motion began with: “Pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and F.R.Crim.P.12(b)(2), Mr. King moves the Court to dismiss the single count indictment against him for assault on a federal officer, 18 USC 111(a)(1), (b) due to fatal variance between the indictment returned by the grand jury and the required elements of the crime as charged against Mr. King.”
Today’s Twitter thread:
Unicorn Riot coverage of Political Prisoner Eric King:
- Coverage of the Trial of Political Prisoner Eric King (March 2022)
- Eric King and Supporters Organize Call-in Campaign over Transfer to USP Lee (April 13, 2022)
- Anarchist Prisoner Eric King Found Not Guilty in Assault of Prison Guard (March 18, 2022)
- BOP Blames Bird for Eric King’s Property Destruction During Federal Trial (March 18, 2022)
- Prison Abolition Advocates Rally Outside Federal Prison on NYE (Dec. 31, 2020)
- Eric King Given 10 Year Sentence for Molotov Attack on Empty Govt Building (June 28, 2016)
- Eric King Signs Non-Cooperating Plea Deal (March 3, 2016)