Trial still set for May for nuclear protesters

9:01 am | April 4, 2013

KNOXVILLE — The trial for three nuclear weapons protesters is still scheduled to begin May 7, but the federal judge to preside over the case has changed.

U.S. District Court Judge Amul R. Thapar has been given the case because of the impending retirement of U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips in Knoxville. Thapar serves in the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that, at a hearing on Wednesday, defense and prosecution attorneys agreed they can proceed with the trial as scheduled.

The defendants — 83-year-old Megan Rice; 56-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed; and 64-year-old Michael Walli —were in the courtroom as Thapar had requested. The three, who call themselves Transform Now Plowshares, are charged with cutting through fences last summer to reach the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.

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