Another So Cal Antifa member prosecuted over a 2021 violent beach attack and riot in San Diego has pleaded guilty.
On Jan. 12, Jesse Merel Cannon admitted to a San Diego County court to conspiring to riot, and two counts of assault against a woman and minor boy with use of a dangerous or deadly weapon. He committed these three felonies while out on bail for a previous felony assault with a deadly weapon charge, to which he also pleaded guilty. The 33-year-old is now the eighth Antifa member in a row out of 11 to be convicted in San Diego.
San Diego County prosecutors said that Cannon, then 30, was dressed in all-black and wearing a gray hat with a mesh veil concealing his face during the Pacific Beach riot against Trump supporters on Jan. 9, 2021.
Jesse Merel Cannon was identified by prosecutors as the man in the grey hat
According to prosecutors, Cannon pointed out a middle-aged woman and her companions to be attacked by raising his arm and yelling out, “Proud Boy killa!” Cannon initiated that attack, then threw a wooden lawn chair and projectiles, while the mob attacked multiple victims, the indictment charged. Cannon was originally indicted on eight felonies.
Jesse Merel Cannon’s victims
Cannon’s victims include a teen boy named as “S.G.” and a middle-aged woman identified only as “M.A.” in court documents.
Teen victim “S.G.” testified during the grand jury hearing that he was in high school at the time and got permission from his mother to attend the “patriot” themed rally.
“I saw a pretty large group of people wearing mostly all black, and there were a lot of Antifa flags,” the teen testified. “They were like yelling stuff at us, like calling us fascists and obviously in a more aggressive way, using profanity and stuff.” He said he and his teenage friends faced a group of 40 or 50 people wearing all-black and tactical gear.
“S.G.” and his friends were sprayed in the face with a chemical believed to be bear spray. The boy said he was pushed and tackled to the ground by Antifa members and repeatedly hit. He said he yelled for help, and a man came and pushed the attackers off. The boy said he tried to escape, but was dragged back down again. The grand jury saw evidence videos of this prolonged attack.
“S.G.” sought medical help and was diagnosed with a concussion. His medical records were entered as evidence.
The moment when the teens were about to be assaulted by Antifa on Pacific Beach, San Diego
Teen victim ‘S.G.’ after being bear sprayed in the Antifa attack
As part of his guilty plea, Cannon also admitted felonious assault on “M.A.,” a woman. The woman told the grand jury she thought she was going to a “flag wave” peaceful event but was quickly surrounded by Antifa.
The woman cried when she watched evidence video of the attack on her, which was played for the grand jury. She described getting maced and being hit by a chair as she desperately tried to run away but fell to the ground.
Female victim ‘M.A.’ was attacked to the ground during the Antifa riot
“M.A.” described tucking herself into a ball and protecting her head while screaming for help.
She said there were police nearby who did not intervene. Recalling a male companion who helped her eventually escape, she said: “I remember him asking the cops, ‘Are you going to do something?’ And the cops said that we could file a police report later on.”
After being injured in the riot, the woman testified that she and her family were “doxed.” She said an Antifa Twitter account posted her personal information online, accused her of being a “Nazi” and that she lost her job. She wept during her testimony before the grand jury.
Jesse Merel Cannon’s history of violence
In the plea deal, Cannon admitted that his assaults on the teen boy and the woman were “likely to produce great bodily injury.” He also admitted to the allegation that his new felonies were committed while he was out-on-bail for a prior felony charge. If a sentencing enhancement is applied to all four felonies that he pleaded guilty to, that could add two more years additional prison time for each charge.
As previously reported, a prosecutor has claimed that Cannon had or has an Antifa girlfriend in the San Diego Public Defender’s office who allegedly had access to information about victims and witnesses in this high-profile case.
Violent Antifa member Jesse Merel Cannon and his girlfriend Leah Madbak, who works in the San Diego Public Defender’s office
“I am also aware the JESSE CANNON is or was romantically involved with LEAH MADBAK who works as an Investigator for the San Diego Public Defender’s Office,” prosecutor Will Hopkins wrote in court filings at the time to ask that the identities of the victims and witnesses be protected. The prosecutor claimed that both Cannon and Madbak helped to run several Antifa accounts, including “SDAgainstFash,” “sdreportingcollective,” “S.N.A.I.L. Cru,” and “R.A.B.I.D.”
“The information we have discovered in their [Antifa cells or affinity groups] possession includes…police reports containing the target’s home address, license plates, surveillance photos of individuals with their families,” Hopkins wrote. “I know that members of ANTIFA specifically use this information to harass, attack, and stalk victims…in an apparent attempt to intimidate or dissuade them from testifying…”
The motion to protect the identity of the victims and witnesses was granted in whole at the time.
A prosecutor filed a successful motion to protect the identity of the victims and witnesses
Eight Antifa members convicted so far
In addition to Cannon, seven other co-defendants have already taken plea deals admitting to committing violent felonies at the riot three years ago. Those are Erich Louis Yach, 40, Bryan Rivera, 22, Samuel Howard Ogden, 26, Christian Martinez, 25, Alexander Akridge-Jacobs, 33, Faraz Martin Talab, 29, and Joseph Austin Gaskins, 23. The case has especially angered left-wing activists because prosecutors used conspiracy to riot charges against Antifa for the first time.
11 Antifa members were indicted in the violent conspiracy case
Trans activist Erich “Nikki” Louis Yach was the first to make a plea deal in September 2022, and he was sent to a California prison in November 2022. Yach’s sentence was four years and eight months. Yach has a prior felony conviction for domestic violence. He will be eligible for parole in April this year.
Cannon has been in custody since last month and he has been denied bail. Except for Yach and Cannon, all the six other Antifa defendants who have now made plea deals are currently at liberty and have not been sentenced yet. Eleven defendants in total were indicted on 29 charges. There are three remaining Antifa defendants set to go to trial in San Diego: Brian Cortez Lightfoot Jr., 27, Luis Francisco Mora, 32, and Jeremy Jonathan White, 41. Last year, Lightfoot’s attorney asked the court to ban The Post Millennial from reporting on the case. The motion was denied.
Cannon’s sentencing court date is scheduled for Feb. 13, but this will likely be delayed, the court clerk stated.
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