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Red Wing man sentenced to jail after protest

MINNEAPOLIS - A Red Wing man will serve two days in jail after being found guilty of trespass for protesting at an arms and weapons manufacturer last year.

David Louis Harris, 77, will report to the Adult Corrections Facility in Plymouth, Minn., July 26.

Harris, along with 11 others, was arrested Sept. 28, 2011, outside Alliant Techsystems in Eden Prairie, Minn. The group had been trying to deliver documents to the company's president outlining why they believe the weapons made by the company are illegal.

When security asked the people to leave, they refused and were arrested.

A jury trial for the 12 protestors began in Hennepin County District Court May 14. All but one of the protestors testified during the trial, and Harris gave the closing arguments on May 15.

Harris was found guilty of a refusal to leave upon lawful demand charge, a gross misdemeanor. The other 11 protestors were also convicted.

Judge Ronald Abrams gave each of the protestors the choice of a fine and community service or jail time. All but Harris and another man chose community service.

"I've been in trials before and given assignments of community work. I don't think anybody learns anything about that," Harris, a retired surgeon, said. "I felt it was important to make the more serious decision that enables us to show the consequences of what juries do."

"This way, I hope there'll be more interest in learning about what happened," he said.

Harris must also pay $128 in fines and fees.