Two arrested in Davenport after refusing animal-rights grand jury testimony

Carrie Feldman, 20, of Minneapolis, appears this morning in front of animal rights protesters in front of the federal co
Carrie Feldman, 20, of Minneapolis, appears this morning in front of animal rights protesters in front of the federal courthouse in Davenport, Iowa. Feldman and Scott DeMuth, 22, also from the Minneapolis area, refused to testify before a grand jury and were arrested on civil charges of contempt of court and jailed. The grand jury is thought to be investigating the 2004 break-in at Spence Laboratories and Seashore Hall at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. (Quad-City Times photo)

Two people who appeared before a federal grand jury this morning were arrested after they refused to testify.

Carrie Feldman, 20, and Scott DeMuth, 22, both from the Minneapolis area, were jailed for civil contempt.

After their appearances before the grand jury, the two were brought into open court. The two had refused to testify in the secret proceeding. They then were offered limited immunity for their testimony in order to compel them to talk, but they still refused. That led to the civil contempt.

They will be held indefinitely or until they agree to testify.

The two have said they believe the grand jury is investigating the Animal Liberation Front, which claimed responsibility for a 2004 break-in at a lab at the University of Iowa.

About three dozen people showed up outside the federal courthouse in Davenport this morning to protest the grand jury and subpoenas to Feldman and DeMuth.

Protesters carried signs, some of them reading, “Liberation, not incrimination,” “Resist grand juries” and “Support Carrie and Scott.”

A number of Davenport and federal law enforcement officers were at the courthouse as well. A member of the federal Protective Services met with the protesters this morning, saying that their First Amendment rights would be respected. But he warned them not to impede traffic and not to deface the building.

The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the UI break-in and released a video detailing the crime. The people who broke in obtained security cards to enter Spence Labs and Seashore Hall, vandalized offices, stole equipment and released mice and rats that were being used in lab experiments. The university reported damage in excess of $450,000.

Both Feldman and DeMuth said they were in high school in 2004.-- Ann McGlynn, Quad-City Times

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