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DEWITT, N.Y.  — A standing ovation and thunderous applause from at least 40 supporters — that’s how Ithaca protester Mary Anne Grady Flores was taken into custody to serve a six-month jail sentence for violating a controversial order of protection.

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At a news conference before the court appearance, Grady Flores was intent on one thing: That people not forget why she was taking photos of anti-drone protesters, including her sister, on Feb. 13, 2013.

Related: Criminal or martyr? Inside the political formation of Ithaca’s jailed grandmother

“People are worried about my well being? I’m alive,” she said, adding that it’s more than she could say for the hundreds of civilians killed by American drones in the Middle East.

Mary Anne Grady Flores, with less than an hour before her sentencing, said she appreciates people’s support but wants to keep the focus on the victims of drone warfare.
Mary Anne Grady Flores, with less than an hour before her sentencing, said she appreciates people’s support but wants to keep the focus on the victims of drone warfare.

With a pendant of the Our Lady of Guadalupe around her neck, she said about the drone operators, “Imagine what your soul feels like carrying around that sin.”

Her attorney Lance Salisbury said that with good behavior, Grady Flores will be out of jail in about four months.

A better outcome, though, could come from an appellate court, which could deny a stay of sentencing while her case is being reanalyzed. Salisbury said this means she could be released from jail within a few weeks while the appellate court decides her case.

He said the application of an order of protection in this case was unprecedented and the sentence — reduced from a year to six-months on Jan. 8 — was unique and not on  par with other cases he’s worked regarding orders of protection.

This is a breaking news story. Expect more in-depth coverage and a photo gallery Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. 

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.