White Supremacist Who Punched Weekly Reporter Gets Case Dismissed

Laube (center) in HB. Photo by Brian Feinzimer

Tyler Laube faced the prospects of serving five years in prison after entering a guilty plea in November to a federal conspiracy to riot charge. The Redondo Beach man admitted to associating with the Rise Above Movement, a neo-Nazi group that debuted at a Mar. 25, 2017 #MAGA march-turned-melee in Huntington Beach. That’s where footage of the violence that broke out showed Laube throwing a trio of punches at Frank John Tristan, a Weekly reporter covering the rally.

In the guilty plea, Laube also admitted to attending a training at Marblehead Park in San Clemente ten days before the #MAGA march as well as assaulting counter-protesters and other people at the event organized by supporters of President Donald Trump.

But earlier this month, United States District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney dismissed the cases against three other RAM associates–Robert Rundo, Aaron Eason, Robert Boman–on the grounds that the federal rioting statute used to prosecute the men infringed on their First Amendment rights. Being a defendant in USA v. Rundo, et al, Laube filed to withdraw his guilty plea. Last week, the case against him was also dismissed.

“Our office disagrees with the court’s ruling and we shall vigorously appeal it,” Ciaran McEvoy, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, writes the Weekly.

Carney already released Laube on $175,000 bond in December after a magistrate judge previously denied him. The conditions of his release forbade Laube from possessing dangerous weapons, using alcohol or controlled substances and contacting any members of white nationalist organizations.

All four men arrested by the FBI in October and charged under federal rioting laws in Rundo are now free.

“Of course, we are pleased the case has been dismissed,” Jerome Haig, an attorney representing Laube, writes the Weekly. “The government has appealed the dismissals of the case against all the defendants. We are confident that Judge Carney’s thorough and legally sound ruling will be upheld by higher courts.”

The government argued against dismissal of charges, in part, by highlighting United States v. Daley, a related case where three RAM members and an associate pleaded guilty to conspiracy to riot following their violent activities at the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia two summers ago.

Attorneys and public defenders for members charged in Rundo countered that the government “improperly and inexplicably” attached the pleas to its opposition brief and that the Anti-Riot Act used to prosecute the defendants is too broad and unconstitutional.

Carney, a conservative Republican appointed by President George W. Bush, agreed that the federal rioting statute proved to be improper in dismissing the case. “The government has sufficient means at its disposal to prevent and punish such behavior without sacrificing the First Amendment,” he wrote.

On June 12, the Department of Justice appealed his decision in a filing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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