Young San Luis Obispo man falsely charged?
November 29, 2012
OPINION By JIM GRIFFIN
A good-hearted young man, active for economic and social rights for all here in San Luis Obispo, Austin Sarna (nickname Smokie), has been charged by the SLO police and the SLO County District Attorney with attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon (a knife).
This flows from a case last January where Austin tried to stop a group of drunken attackers going after a young man in a car. He himself was then attacked with fists and knives, and he defended himself against this deadly attack.
Austin is a formerly homeless man, now married with a pregnant wife, with tattoos on his neck, a point made and made again by some of our local media, meaning nothing.
He himself carried no weapon. The other men are well connected and are being covered for.
Austin is the fall guy. The district attorney, obsessed with its “over 90 percent conviction rate” (justice, anyone ?) here in “Happy Town,” offered to drop the totally bogus attempted murder charge if Austin pleaded guilty to the assault charges — an eight-year sentence.
Austin, being innocent of it all and with a pregnant wife, rightly refused. This is a rich man-poor man story if there ever was one, propelled by an overzealous and conviction happy District Attorney’s office that harbors a heavy class prejudice. Tell the district attorney to drop these asinine charges against this young father to be. Now!