Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry wrote to Benton County authorities this week to inform them he would decline to prosecute four antifa activists arrested after a fight between them and two prominent local white supremacists, Jimmy Marr of Springfield (62) and David T. Woods of Corvallis (35) in December 2018.
Berry was chosen as special prosecutor at the request of Benton County DA John Haroldson, who cited an unspecified potential conflict of interest in the case. Berry said the disorderly conduct charges against Ava Butler (19), Anya Grigorov (22), Julia Orduna (23) and Bart Bolger (63) would be dismissed because they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt which “party” started the fight.
According to police reports, the four activists, wearing either masks or bandanas, began trying to cover up the racist, neo-Nazi messages on Marr’s truck with blankets and using a bullhorn to call Marr a Nazi and other expletives. Woods reportedly responded with violence. Butler claims Woods choked them and punched them repeatedly in the face, which is supported by other witnesses and Butler’s own injuries to their face and head.
Officials claimed accounts of the fight conflicted, but one seemingly consistent fact was that it was Woods who instigated the fight. However, despite concluding they had probable cause to arrest Woods on a disorderly conduct charge, the police were unable to locate him. At one point during their investigation it seems they believed Woods had moved out of Corvallis.
It is still unclear the extent to which Marr was involved, but most notably he suffered a cardiac episode immediately afterward and was hospitalized for a few days. He did not have any apparent injuries from a fight other than a small abrasion on one cheek.
Marr claims to have no memory of the fight or the events leading up to it.
Cameron Green, who represents the four activists, has not yet been reached by reporters.
By Ian MacRonald