Written by Associated Press
(AP) — Attorneys for counter-protesters facing rioting charges from last year’s California state Capitol brawl say their clients were engaged in “mutual combat” with white nationalists.
Defense attorney Mark Reichel said Monday his client, 19-year-old Porfirio Gabriel Paz of Long Beach, defended himself with a flag pole during the June 2016 melee between about 30 protesters and more than 300 counter-protesters.
Attorney Linda Parisi says her client, 56-year-old Michael Williams of Yolo County, similarly used a makeshift club.
Both are charged in Sacramento County with assault with a deadly weapon and participating in a riot.
More than a dozen people were injured.
Judge Joseph Orr lowered Williams’ bail from $500,000 to $50,000 despite his 30-year-old conviction for attempted murder. Paz is free on $25,000 bond.
One white nationalist also faces charges.