Bent Mountain tree sitters face charges in Roanoke County courtroom

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) "Stand with Red" became a rallying cry for opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. On Thursday afternoon, Red and Minor Terry had a crowd of supporters when the two tree-sitters faced misdemeanor charges in Roanoke County General District Court.

The mother and daughter climbed into their tree stands in early April, in an effort to prevent crews from cutting trees on their property.

And they came down in early May, after a federal judge found them in contempt and threatened hefty fines.

During the hearing Thursday, their attorney Tom Bondurant questioned officers about the police presence on the Terry property, and the decision to establish a perimeter around the two locations where the tree sitters were protesting.

Minor Terry said the women began their protest after a deadline for cutting in areas with endangered bats passed at the end of March. And she said they came down after a federal judge ruled against them.

After the hearing, Red Terry said she has no regrets.

"I got to meet a lot of these people here," she told reporters, "and I think we actually brought this to the attention of a lot of people."

Judge Scott Geddes is allowing the attorneys to file written briefs.

The Terrys are due back in court next Thursday for closing arguments in the case.