Naperville resident, Kim Bendis cried tears of relief when she heard the verdict of not guilty.
“I’m glad this part is over and I’m just thankful to our legal team, thankful to the jury, and I’m just ready to go home to my kids,” said Defendant, Malia Kim Bendis.
The 42-year-old was arrested in January 2013 when she was recording video of Naperville city workers installing a smart meter at Jennifer Stahl’s house.
Both Stahl and Bendis are leaders of Smart Meter Awareness, a group opposed to the new electric system that was put in place by the city of Naperville. Their objections focused on health, privacy, and safety issues.
When the crew arrived at Stahl’s home, they were accompanied by police. As Bendis began taping, an officer asked her to stop. She continued, at which point her arrest was ordered, which police say she refused.
She was then charged with a misdemeanor of resisting or obstructing a peace officer.
Bendis claimed on the witness stand that she was never told to turn around to be handcuffed.
The prosecutors claimed she was uncooperative, refusing repeatedly to turn around and comply, even elbowing an officer in the chest. They urged jurors to focus not on the emotions of the case, but on the law. In the end, the defense won out. After nearly three hours of jury deliberation, Bendis was acquitted.
“Kim Bendis is going to return now where she has always been, a good dedicated Christian member of the Naperville community who has done nothing but keep her life on a public service level,” said Todd Pugh, Defense Attorney. “It’s a shame that these charges were ever brought, they should have never been brought but nothing along these lines of this experience has ever caused Kim Bendis to lose faith for even a moment.”
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