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UNF protestors plead not guilty, set date for pre-trial hearing

Thirteen of the 16 University of North Florida pro-Palestine protestors returned to court for arraignment Monday, where they all entered not-guilty pleas for the misdemeanor trespass charges.

They were arrested on May 2 after refusing to leave campus by the 10 p.m. curfew imposed by the UNF Police Department.

The group refers to itself as the Jax 16. Their attorney, Marcus Barnett, submitted these not-guilty pleas on their behalf, and each defendant confirmed them verbally to Judge Dawn Hudson one by one. They will return on June 17 at 9:30 a.m. for pre-trial proceedings.

Three other protestors bonded out the morning after their arrest and won’t have their initial court appearance until June 3.

Barnett represents the protestors pro bono and said there were severe issues with the charging documents. He said there is no physical evidence of the 10 p.m. curfew delivered as a verbal warning to protestors. The State Attorney’s Office said it does not intend to drop the charges.

UNF said the curfew was “consistent with the University’s enforcement of reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.” The university has said it will not comment further on the curfew or trespass warning as this investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Stay with Spinnaker as we continue to cover the students arrested and the university’s response.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jeanne Gilbert
Jeanne Gilbert, Editor in Chief
Jeanne Gilbert is Spinnaker's current editor-in-chief and a sophomore majoring in public relations at the University of North Florida. She joined Spinnaker in the summer of 2023 as a volunteer. After graduating, Jeanne plans to continue in the newsroom or work in public relations.

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