• Occupy Orlando trial ends with guilty, not guilty verdicts


    ORLANDO, Fla.,None - It was a split decision in the trial of an Occupy Orlando member Friday morning.

    After a brief deliberation an Orange County jury found Megan Vermeer not guilty of trespassing, but did find her guilty on a less serious misdemeanor charge of violating a city ordinance.

    "I'm really happy with everything. I wish it could have gone a little better but this is a victory and it's really just pretty great right now," said Vermeer.

    Vermeer was found guilty of violating a city ordinance by staying at Senator Beth Johnson Park in Orlando after its 11 p.m. closing time.

    Vermeer and ten others were arrested for trespassing there last November, after police say they were warned to leave. There are still 39 protestors facing charges similar to Vermeer.

    The judge sentenced her to six months probation, a $200 fine, 50 hours community service, and she has to pay police costs.

    Her attorney says the evidence the jury rejected is exactly the same for the other 39 protesters charged with trespassing.

    "They need to accept the verdict of the jury for all Occupy trials. They need to drop all trespass charges post haste because this is wasting people's money," said defense attorney Shayan Elahi.

    During the trial Vermeer testified that she didn’t know she was trespassing.

    Vermeer was prosecuted by two Orlando city attorneys who were specially sworn in  as state prosecutors for her case. The city attorneys prosecuted because state prosecutors don't have jurisdiction over city ordinances.

    The judge also told vermeer not to go back to the park and she says she won't.

     "I am not allowed to go back there so definitely not," said Vermeer.

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