MVP protester pleads guilty, sentenced to jail time

Local News

A woman has been sentenced to jail time after pleading guilty to the pipeline protest involvement. 

Catherine “Fern” MacDougal was one of four people who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from pipeline protests back in April and June in federal court in Roanoke Thursday.

MacDougal was taken down from her flying pod on Pocahontas Road on June 1 while trying to stop work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

The flying pod was a structure attached to the top of trees, designed to block crews from constructing the pipeline.

She pleaded guilty to entering a restricted forest area and blocking a forest service road. She was sentenced by the judge to spend two nights in prison and will be released Saturday morning. 

Three other people also pleaded guilty to trespassing and were forced to pay a $100 fine. 

They were caught trying to help “Nutty” by getting her food during a protest.

“Nutty” is a woman who protested the MVP for more than 50 days by sitting in a structure atop a pole in April, blocking MVP crews. 

After each individual was sentenced, a small crowd gathered in support of those trying to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline from being built. 

The prosecuting attorneys in these cases did not want to comment.  

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