by Christopher Goffard, Times Staff Writer
Calling the state’s case “a stretch,” a Hillsborough judge Wednesday tossed out charges against eight antiwar activists arrested for blocking the road outside MacDill Air Force Base.
The activists all faced charges of resisting or opposing an officer, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. But after listening to Tampa police officers testify about the May 26 arrests, County Judge Elvin Martinez found the case so weak he dismissed it before the activists’ lawyers even began to mount a defense.
Defense lawyers Paul Quin and Paul Rebein, who handled the case pro bono, argued that activists had given Tampa police notice that they intended to be arrested as a show of civil disobedience and promised to go peacefully.
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