SEATTLE – A leading animal-rights activist has been accused of lying to a grand jury investigating an arson at a timber company and the theft of chickens from an egg farm in Washington state.
Allison Lance-Watson (search), 45, was released Wednesday for a preliminary hearing next month.
She was charged with making false statements to the grand jury when she denied lending a truck to other activists. Investigators believe the vehicle was used in the arson.
She could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Lance-Watson's lawyer, Stuart A. Sugarman, said the allegations were extremely one-sided," adding, "The truth will come out."
One case involved a fire set at the headquarters of a timber company in Olympia. The other involved the removal of 228 chickens from an egg farm in Burlington, Wash. Both incidents took place in 2000.
After the fire, employees of a convenience store saw occupants of a rental truck discard plastic bags containing dark clothing, ski masks, gloves and a wrapper from a pair of bolt cutters, according to the FBI.
Authorities say a store surveillance camera showed the truck had the same license plate as one that Lance-Watson and her husband had rented.