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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Temple Israel Protester Pleads Guilty

One of two suspects who disrupted a May 12 luncheon at Westport’s Temple Israel shouting about Palestinian rights pleaded guilty today under the Alford Doctrine to a charge of breach of peace, said his attorney, Eugene Riccio.

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Greg Williams: fined $250. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Greg Williams, 25, of New Haven was fined $250 under the plea deal before Judge Alex Hernandez in Norwalk Superior Court, he said. Under the Alford Doctrine,a defendant does not admit guilt but agrees that the state has enough evidence against him to get a conviction.

Williams had pleaded not guilty on July 21 to charges of criminal trespass first-degree and breach of peace second-degree.

His co-defendant, Daniel Fischer, 25, of New Haven, was granted accelerated rehabilitation last month in Norwalk Superior Court. (See WestportNow Sept. 1, 2015)

Judge William Wenzel granted AR to Fischer for 18 months, including 25 hours of community service. He was also ordered to stay away from Temple Israel and not to contact anyone from the synagogue. If the program is successfully completed, the charges against him will be dismissed.

At Temple Israel panic ensued when Williams and Fischer tried to crash an Israeli Defense Fund luncheon. As the suspects shouted about Palestinian rights, some attendees first thought one of the suspects had a gun, which was not the case.

Police were called, some people fled the luncheon, and others hid under tables. The incident caused a lockdown on Coleytown Middle and Elementary Schools, Bedford Middle School as well as the temple’s nursery school and the pre-school at the Unitarian Church.

—Dave Matlow contributed reporting.


Posted 10/13/15 at 06:38 PM  Permalink


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