Wheeler Hall protesters, found guilty, to be sentenced Thursday

Three demonstrators from the March UC Berkeley Wheeler Hall protests found guilty of trespassing and resisting arrest are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

The three will be sentenced for their misdemeanor charges in Department 113 of the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. They could face up to a year in jail for the resisting arrest charge and six months in jail for the trespassing charge. They were found guilty Oct. 18.

Michael Veremans, Elizabeth Bamaca and Jason Ozolins were arrested March 2 along with 14 other protesters after they refused to leave Wheeler Hall after its 10 p.m. closing time in a demonstration against budget cuts and fee hikes affecting higher education.

If their sentence includes incarceration, they will be the only protesters from either the March 2 or March 3 demonstrations to spend time in jail for their participation.

Of the 14 other protesters who were arrested during the March 2 sit-in, only six others actually stood trial. Of the eight who did not, five accepted plea agreements and three did not have charges brought against them.

The six who did face trial were originally charged with trespassing during the same incident but had their charges reduced to disturbing the peace. They were found not guilty at a bench trial that concluded Sept. 20.

Of the five March 2 protesters who accepted plea agreements, four pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace and must complete 45 hours of community service. The fifth protester pleaded no contest to the same charge and must complete 55 hours of community service.

Sarah Burns is the lead crime reporter.