And then there were eight. One of the nine people charged in relation to the destruction of the Plaza obelisk on Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 won't have to go to trial after prosecutors dismissed his misdemeanor charges in Municipal Court on Monday.
Sean Sunderland, 24, completed 40 hours of community service chosen from the Municipal Court's approved list of community organizations, according to his lawyer, Kitren Fischer.
The Santa Fe Police Department bungled his case twice—SFPD Officer Jesse Campbell didn't appear for a hearing, resulting in its dismissal. Judge Donita Sena then put it back on the docket when it could not be determined whether the Santa Fe County Magistrate Court had properly notified Campbell of the hearing date.
The second issue arose in late January after Campbell failed to file a witness list on time and didn't respond to a motion seeking exclusion of witness testimony. Sena then ruled that no witness testimony would be allowed as a result.
"The City of Santa Fe and Sean Sunderland have agreed to a pre-prosecution resolution of Mr. Sunderland's pending criminal charges stemming from an incident involving his alleged conduct with the Santa Fe Police on the Santa Fe Plaza, shortly before the toppling of the Obelisk known as the Soldiers' Monument on October 12, 2020," Fischer wrote in a joint statement with the city. "Mr. Sunderland was in police custody at the time of the toppling of the Obelisk, and he was not charged with any actions directly related to the toppling of the Obelisk."
There appears to be no more to say about the matter—the city, including SFPD and Sunderland, agreed the joint statement released today would be the "only statement on the matter."
Some of the remaining defendants have had their misdemeanor charges dropped after their lawyers met with Assistant District Attorney Richard Wilson, though they are still facing significant penalties with multiple felony counts, as their cases, now in District Court, head toward trial.
Melissa Rose, Lauren Straily, Ryan Witt, Stephen Fox, Zachary Young, Dylan Wrobel, Lily Schweitzer and Dawn Furlong are still set to have their days in court.
Rose and Straily, mother and daughter, are facing three felonies, including criminal damage to property over $1,000, conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property over $1,000 and unauthorized graffiti over $1,000. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Fox, a local art dealer, is accused of criminal damage to property over $1,000, conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property over $1,000 and unlawful assembly. He has an arraignment scheduled in District court on April 13.
Prosecutors have charged Witt, Schweitzer and Furlong with criminal damage to property over $1,000 and conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property over $1,000. Witt has also pleaded not guilty.
Wrobel, 27, is charged with battery upon a peace officer, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer making an arrest and criminal trespass.
Zachary Young's case is still in the Magistrate Court. The most recently named defendant, he has a docket call on April 7. Young is charged with criminal damage to property over $1,000, conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property over $1,000, both felonies, and unlawful assembly, criminal trespass and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer making an arrest, which are misdemeanors.