Four trials related to the 2020 protests in downtown Graham that were to be heard Wednesday in Alamance County district court were cancelled at the last minute.
Alamance County assistant district attorney Kevin Harrison, who has been assigned to prosecute the 2020 protest trials, confirmed the cancellation to an Alamance News reporter shortly before the morning court session was set to begin at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.
Asked why the trials were cancelled, Harrison suggested that the newspaper contact Greensboro attorney Jason Keith, one of several attorneys representing the highest-profile defendant in the 2020 protest cases, Rev. Greg Drumwright, 41, black male, of 4 Clubview Court, Greensboro.
All four protest trials were apparently cancelled after Keith informed the D.A.’s office late Tuesday that he would be unable to appear in Alamance County district court on Wednesday as scheduled, The Alamance News was told.
The organizer of the “I Am Change Legacy March” to the polls in downtown Graham that ended with pepper spray on Halloween day, Drumwright was charged with misdemeanor failure to disperse on command. Drumwright’s case was scheduled for trial in district court Wednesday, as were trials for three other defendants who were arrested during the October 31 march and rally.
For his part, Harrison contacted The Alamance News Wednesday afternoon to say that he’d realized that the newspaper may not be able to reach Keith and that he was “still waiting on documentation from him about part of the situation.”
Three other trials were scheduled in district court Wednesday for defendants who were arrested at the October 31 march and rally in downtown Graham.
Those defendants and their charges include: Olivia Cabral Davis, 20, black female, of 1515 South Mebane Street in Burlington (misdemeanor resisting a public officer); Stephen Morris Walker, 37, black male, of 702 East Lindsay Street, Greensboro (misdemeanor failure to disperse); and Julius Jaleel Walton, 24, black male, of U.S. Highway 70, Mebane (misdemeanor resisting a public officer and assault on a government official/employee).
Included among the total of 23 people arrested on Halloween day was Alamance News reporter Tomas Murawski, who was covering the event for the newspaper. He was photographing a protester’s arrest that was in progress when he was charged with resisting a public officer.
The Alamance County district attorney’s office dropped the charge against Murawski the same day it was scheduled for trial, May 26. The arresting officer for the Graham police officer alleged that the newspaper’s reporter “pulled away” while being taken into custody. Video footage recorded by another media outlet showed no resistance by Murawski.
Drumwright’s court file for the pending failure to disperse charge shows that the case has previously been continued four times.
The Greensboro pastor was subsequently charged with two felonies related to the October 31 march and rally: obstruction of justice and assault on a law enforcement officer.
Harrison dismissed the felony obstruction charge earlier this year, citing a December 2020 ruling by the Court of Appeals and the evidence against Drumwright that led him to conclude it would be unlikely to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, according to a dismissal notice the assistant D.A. filed on January 28.
In early February, a grand jury failed to indict Drumwright for felony assault on a law enforcement officer.
New trial dates for Drumwright and the other three defendants were not immediately available by press time.
The ongoing trials in the 2020 protest cases are currently scheduled to resume next Wednesday.