Court cases from coordinated 2016 pipeline protest delayed

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Several court cases stemming from a coordinated pipeline protest in four states two years ago have been delayed, including one where a judge decided to allow two women to argue their law-breaking was necessary to prevent a greater harm.

Eleven activists were arrested on Oct. 11, 2016, when they targeted pipelines in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Washington state.

In Minnesota, prosecutors are appealing a judge’s ruling that would allow a so-called necessity defense. The appeal delayed the December trial of two Seattle-area residents. The trial hasn’t been rescheduled.

Attorney-related reasons have delayed sentencing hearings for an Oregon man charged in Montana and a Seattle man charged in North Dakota. During their trials, neither man was allowed to use necessity-defense arguments.

The Washington case ended with a conviction in June.