Trial for Missouri clergy who protested in Capitol begins

2 years 3 months 5 hours ago Tuesday, August 16 2016 Aug 16, 2016 Tuesday, August 16, 2016 7:26:24 PM CDT August 16, 2016 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A trial is underway against more than 20 clergy members who face charges stemming from a peaceful protest at the Missouri Capitol over Medicaid expansion.

The trial for the so-called Medicaid 23 began Tuesday.

In May 2014, a few hundred clergy and other activists sang hymns and chanted in the state Senate in protest of lawmakers' reluctance to expand Medicaid health care eligibility in the state.

Most left once police arrived to clear the public gallery. But 23 remained and were arrested.

Senate GOP leaders stopped work for about an hour.

Roughly two years later, the case appears close to an end. The trial is set to end Wednesday.

Each defendant faces up to six months behind bars if found guilty of trespassing and disrupting government operations.

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