MURRIETA: Border Patrol protesters accept plea agreements

Charges against two others arrested outside the Murrieta station last summer were dismissed

Published: Feb. 10, 2015 2:44 p.m.

Three people charged in connection with the July immigration protests outside the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Murrieta have pleaded guilty in an agreement with prosecutors and charges have been dismissed against two others.

Jessica Rey, 25, of Menifee, Janet Mathieson, 23, of Claremont, and Jacqueline Sanchez, 27, of Los Angeles, each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer.

A felony lynching charge against each woman is expected to be dismissed as part of the plea agreement at their sentencing April 10. Lynching is defined under California law as taking a person from the lawful custody of an officer by means of a riot. Additionally,

Mathieson had been charged with misdemeanor battery on an officer.

All charges were dismissed against Pouyan Bokaei, 33, and Salvador Chavez, 25, both of Los Angeles, who also had been accused of resisting arrest and lynching.

The arrests of all five defendants came during heated protests July 4, three days after a group of anti-illegal immigration protesters turned away buses of Central American migrants federal officers were attempting to bring to the station for processing. The defendants were at the protest to support the migrants.

Authorities had said police tried to arrest Mathieson for obstructing an officer and Bokaei intervened. They said Mathieson jumped on an officer’s back and the other three defendants joined in the effort to free her and Bokaei.

John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, said charges were dismissed against the two men after further review of the evidence. He noted that the three defendants who accepted the plea agreement did not have any criminal history and prosecutors determined that their actions did not rise to the level of a felony.

Defense attorney Gerald Singleton, who represented several of the defendants, said the women are expected to receive probation.

Singleton said he provided the prosecutors with video that showed the events surrounding the defendants’ arrest. He said the video contradicted the police officers’ account of what happened. Lynching -- which involves a riot -- was not an appropriate charge, he said.

“A riot is a large number of people. There’s violence. And that’s just not what happened,” he said.

He said Chavez’s only involvement in the incident was taking video.

A sixth person arrested during the protests, Larry Spencer, 56, of Hemet, was in the anti-illegal immigration camp.

He is charged with misdemeanor obstruction of an officer in connection with a separate incident outside the Border Patrol station.

Spencer has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

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