State District Judge Daniel Boucher sentenced Leonard Higgins on Tuesday, March 20 to a three-year deferred sentence and restitution for damages. Leonard will not serve jail time and was ordered to pay $3,755 to Endbridge Inc. Leonard’s attorneys’ are appealing the case to the Montana Supreme Court.
Leonard’s record will be cleared of a felony criminal mischief conviction if he doesn’t violate the terms of his sentence.
On Wednesday Nov. 22, 2017, a Fort Benton jury found Leonard Higgins guilty of felony mischief for his role in turning off the tar sands oil pipeline in 2016. Not only was Leonard prohibited by judge Boucher from bringing witnesses to support a necessity defense, but Leonard was not allowed to discuss climate change as his motivation for the action during his own testimony.
Read the statement made at the sentencing by Lauren C.Regan, Leonard’s attorney from the Civil Liberties Defense Center.