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Verdict Is in for 2nd Chinese Woman Stopped at Mar-a-Lago

Jing Lu found guilty on one count, but not trespassing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2020 4:45 PM CST

(Newser) – A Florida jury acquitted a Chinese woman Wednesday of trespassing at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort after she testified she didn't understand a security guard who told her to leave, the AP reports. However, jurors did find Jing Lu, 56, guilty of resisting a police officer without violence during her Dec. 18 arrest. The incident marked the second time in 2019 that a Chinese national was charged with illicitly entering Trump's Florida resort. Prosecutors told jurors that Lu purposely intruded in a “calculated" and “planned" manner. She has been in custody since her arrest because her visa to remain in the United States has expired. Palm Beach County Judge Mark Eissey set Lu's sentencing for Friday. She faces up to one year in jail on the misdemeanor charge.

Prosecutors said she ignored a warning to leave the grounds and returned through a side entrance and continued taking pictures. Mar-a-Lago is now Trump's official residence, moving there from New York City last year, but he was not in Florida when Lu was arrested. Lu, testifying through a Mandarin interpreter, said she paid $200 for a Chinese guide to drop her off at various South Florida locations. She said her language barrier prevented her from understanding a security officer's orders to leave the property. Security guard Murray Fulton told jurors he used hand gestures to make his warnings clear to her. Mar-a-Lago has had a rash of security breaches, with at least three trespassing events over the past 14 months.

(Read more Mar-a-Lago stories.)

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