Oregon refuge occupier Jason Patrick wants out of jail, pending sentencing

BY MAXINE BERNSTEIN The Oregonian/OregonLive June 9, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Oregon refuge occupier Jason Patrick, who offered to be taken into custody just over two months ago after he was convicted of felony and misdemeanor charges, is asking to be released, pending his sentencing this fall.

“I think he’s just tired of being at the local jail,” his defense lawyer Andrew Kohlmetz said Friday.

Patrick, 45, this time will abide by the conditions set for release, including electronic monitoring and home detention at his mother’s residence in Washington state, his lawyer said.

Prosecutors are not opposed, but U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown will consider the request at a hearing next Friday.

Patrick, 45, stunned some in Brown’s courtroom when he stood up at his defense table on March 21 and offered to go to jail, after the judge announced she was finding him guilty of misdemeanor charges stemming from the 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

That day, Patrick removed his blazer and belt, emptied his pockets, placed his cigarettes on the table and offered to be handcuffed and led away to jail. At that time, he said he’d rather spend time in jail, instead of being fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet for GPS monitoring pending sentencing.

Eleven days earlier, a federal jury had convicted Patrick of conspiracy to impede federal employees at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge through intimidation, threat or force. On March 21, the judge found Patrick guilty of other misdemeanor charges, including trespass, tampering with vehicles and equipment, and destruction of property.

That day, pretrial services officer Nick Nischik had recommended Patrick be placed on home detention and electronic monitoring.  Nischik argued that Patrick had been difficult to contact pending trial because he had no stable residence, has remained unemployed for close to a year despite a pretrial condition that he find work, and hadn’t resolved a pending charge in Georgia.

But Patrick and Kohlmetz, his standby lawyer, argued then that GPS monitoring was unwarranted since he had made all his court appearances.

Patrick was initially held at the downtown Portland jail since he was taken into custody on March 21, but soon was transferred to the county’s Inverness Jail.

With his sentencing postponed until Nov. 15, Patrick is asking to be released from custody under the conditions proposed in late March, Kohlmetz said.

Posted in Court, Maulher, News, The Oregonian.

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