Bombers Bound Over


Fifth Estate # 73, February 20-March 5, 1969

Recorder’s Court Judge Thomas Poindexter has bound over for trial seven of the nine persons accused of conspiring to bomb police stations, draft boards, and the Ann Arbor CIA office last Fall.

Poindexter has apparently already decided that the accused are guilty even before the trial begins.

“A conspiracy is like a circle,” he said on Feb. 7 after an 11 day preliminary examination. “After I make that comparison the defendant David Valler is the center of the circle.”

Valler and the six others were most damaged by the testimony of Donald (Osley) Tunstall, 10312 Grand River, who said he participated in the preparations for the bombings with the defendants then agreed to be the State’s witness after being threatened with a dope charge plus the bombing offense.

Those charged originally numbered 15, but the other six defendants were released after agreeing to testify against their friends.

Those bound over besides Valler include: Jack Forest, Ronald Pierce, John Schmittroth, William Ladd, Antoine Daghuyt, and Joseph Clever. Two others will have a separate examination at a later date.

During the examination Tunstall testified for several days weaving an intricate story implicating all of the accused. At times he seemed almost in a daze with his eyes transfixed on the defendants. His testimony sounded like he was reading from police reports.

The defense counsel cross-examined only slightly. “Every time we asked him a question he would implicate three more people,” was the opinion of one of the attorneys.

At this time no date is set for the trial, but attorney James Lafferty expects that when it does begin it will last for months.

“The trial will be long, lengthy, and painful, clogged with motions, weeks of picking a jury and more weeks of testimony,” he said.

The real danger is that at the end of the trial the only people left that will be concerned about it will be the defendants and their families,” he continued.

Lafferty stressed the political nature of the trial, “People have to see this as part of a pattern of repression that is occurring across the country and should respond to it in a political manner.”

The only non-legal action to take place around the case was a Feb. 4 benefit at the Grande Ballroom at which $2,000 was raised as part of a Legal Self Defense (LSD) fund.

At this writing efforts are being made to use this money to free Valler who is still being held in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond.