War protester sentenced for digging graves at MU

Thursday, November 10, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:48 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Columbia activist Lana Jacobs was fined $500 and given two years of unsupervised probation at her sentencing hearing Wednesday morning for digging mock graves in the front yard of MU’s Crowder Hall to protest the war in Iraq.

Jacobs, 56, was found guilty of second-degree property damage, a class B misdemeanor, on Oct. 21. MU Police arrested Jacobs, who runs the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and St. Francis House homeless shelter, in May after she dug graves on the building’s lawn to symbolize civilians and soldiers that died in Iraq. The hall houses MU’s Army, Air Force and Navy ROTC.

Her husband was also arrested, but his case was dismissed after her conviction.

After the morning hearing, Jacobs and her attorney, Ruth O’Neill, contested two of the terms of Jacobs’ probation: refraining from contact with any convicted felons and not getting arrested again.

Jacobs’ husband, Steve Jacobs, said many of the people that come to St. Francis House are felons. He also said she couldn’t promise she would not be arrested in another protest.

“She doesn’t want to put her conscience in cold storage for two years,” he said.

Associate Circuit Judge Larry Bryson lifted the stipulation concerning association with felons, but ordered that she sign documents agreeing to the rest of the terms of probation.

Steve Jacobs said his wife did not sign the probation papers and that he expects she will either have to go to jail or appear in court again.

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