The trial of nine local residents and community activists who were arrested in the fall for blocking access to Spectra Energy’s pipeline construction yard in Montrose was adjourned two weeks ago over the scheduled testimony of a Cortlandt councilman.
Town Justice Daniel McCarthy adjourned the case of the so-called “Montrose 9” to an unspecified date to review procedural steps governing an elected official, in this instance Councilman Seth Freach, testifying before him. McCarthy noted the issue may result in a change of venue for the case.
The nine defendants were charged with disorderly conduct by State Police and have pled not guilty. Legal representatives of the defendants have filed a Necessity Defense, which contends the protestors actions were warranted because of the imminent and grave risks Spectra’s natural gas pipeline expansion poses on a local, regional and global level, which outweighs any potential harm of their actions.