Description: Criminal prosecution of environmental activist for participating in "valve-turning" protest in 2016 in which protesters shut down pipelines.
State v. Higgins
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/22/2018 Press Release Defendant sentenced. Montana Court Sentenced “Valve Turner” to Deferred Imprisonment. On March 22, Climate Defense Project announced that its client Leonard Higgins had been sentenced two days earlier by a Montana court to three years deferred imprisonment for participating in the coordinated “valve turner” protests in 2016. The court also ordered Higgins to pay $3,755.47 in restitution, less than the $25,630 requested by the pipeline company for costs incurred in responding to the protest. CDP also said it was pursuing an appeal of the court’s denial of Higgins’s request to present a necessity defense. 11/22/2017 Verdict Jury found defendant guilty. Jury Convicted Environmental Activist in Montana Valve-Turning Case. A jury in Montana state court in Chouteau County convicted an environmental activist on charges of criminal mischief and trespassing in connection with his closure of a valve on a pipeline carrying crude oil from Canada to the United States. Earlier in 2017, the court denied the defendant’s request to present a necessity defense based on testimony about the risks of climate change. Sentencing was scheduled for January 2, 2018. The defendant’s attorneys indicated he planned to appeal.