The Daily Californian Online

Hearing for Tree-Sitter Postponed

By Sara Johnson
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Category: News > City > Courts

The preliminary hearing for Matthew Dodt, the People's Park tree-sitter charged with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of stolen property, was postponed today until April 4.

At the hearing at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Rhonda Burgess initially announced a resolution meeting between the lawyers Wednesday morning. Although Zadik Shapiro, the attorney representing Dodt, declined to comment on the content of the meeting, a resolution was not reached and the preliminary hearing was postponed.

Dodt is being held for allegedly attempting to cut the neck of a man climbing his tree on Jan. 27. The victim, Austin White, sustained an injury to his hand after blocking the alleged blow to his neck.

"They have not been able to find the victim," Shapiro said. He added that he was not surprised by the delay.

Zachary RunningWolf, a local activist and homeless advocate, said after the hearing that he "unfortunately" expected Wednesday's outcome.

"(Dodt has) been kidnapped by the University of California," RunningWolf said.

Dodt is currently being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on a $100,000 bail. Today is the 42nd day since Dodt's arraignment.

According to Shapiro, Dodt could serve up to two years in prison if he is convicted of possession of stolen property as a felony and one year in jail if he is charged with a misdemeanor.

Under the California penal code, defendants must be brought to trial within 60 days of their arraignment, or the case will be dismissed.

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