By Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive | April 07, 2017 at 5:34 PM Federal prosecutors in Nevada have asked a judge to schedule the second Bunkerville conspiracy trial for rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy and […]
California resident Gary Hunt, speaking by phone from jail Thursday, promised he would show up to court in Portland to defend his right to publish details about FBI informants involved in the investigation of the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
“I give my word, my bond, my honor that I will appear at a time designated by the court,” Hunt told U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown. “Believe it or not, I’ve been looking forward to discussing the issue in your presence.”
The judge responded that she needed more than “his word” before she approved his release from custody.
Federal authorities have arrested California resident Gary Hunt after he failed to show up in U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown’s courtroom this month to explain why he shouldn’t be held in civil contempt for not removing from his blog information about informants the FBI used in its investigation of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Hunt, taken into custody in northern California Thursday on a warrant issued by Brown, is expected to be transferred to federal court in Oregon soon to attend what’s called a show cause hearing before the judge.
By Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive Updated March 21, 2017 at 7:27 PM Pleas to felony charges in Oregon standoff case/sentencing dates: -Brian Cavalier pleaded guilty to two charges: conspiracy to impede and possession of firearms in a federal facilities. […]
A federal judge on Tuesday found four men guilty of trespassing and other misdemeanor charges for their roles in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown issued her rulings in court against Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Darryl Thorn and Jake Ryan — the final four defendants in the Malheur case to go on trial.
Shortly afterwards, Patrick was taken into custody by deputy U.S. marshals, after the judge ordered he be placed on electronic monitoring and given a curfew as he awaited sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown often warned defendants, defense lawyers and spectators that she wouldn’t tolerate outbursts or laughter in the courtroom during the conspiracy trials against the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
One man, often hunched over a small pad of paper and scribbling with a pencil in the back row, paid close attention to fill the void.
Scott Klatt would take notes on the witnesses or exchanges in court, quickly draw a brief scene, add a caption and some dialogue. Then he’d post his “Bundy Court Sketches” on Twitter and Facebook, providing plenty of laughs long after court recessed.
Special federal prosecutors assigned to the criminal case against Ammon Bundy’s lawyer filed a motion Monday to dismiss all the charges against Marcus Mumford.
The motion comes more than three weeks after a judge dropped one of three charges against Mumford and ruled that he would decide the remaining two charges after a trial.
It also comes on the first business day after a federal jury in Portland found four remaining defendants guilty on a variety of chargesstemming from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Here’s what people are saying after the mixed verdicts Friday in the second Oregon standoff trial.
The jury found two of four defendants — Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn — guilty of conspiracy in the 2016 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and acquitted two others — Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan — on the conspiracy charge
But the jury found Ehmer and Ryan guilty of willfully damaging the refuge and found Thorn guilty of possessing a gun at a federal facility. Patrick and Ryan were acquitted on the gun charge.
A federal jury Friday delivered a split verdict in the second Oregon standoff trial, finding two defendants guilty of conspiracy in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge but acquitting two others of the same charge.
The jury found Jason Patrick, described by prosecutors as one of the organizers of the armed occupation, and Darryl Thorn, who worked on security details, guilty of conspiring to prevent federal workers from doing their jobs at the refuge through intimidation, threat or force. The other two men on trial, Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan, were found not guilty.
A jury returned guilty verdicts Friday on at least one felony charge against each of the last four defendants in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge – a victory for prosecutors who took a devastating blow at the first trial.
Defense lawyers immediately decried the convictions of the more minor players as a miscarriage of justice when the ringleaders got off last fall.
Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said he was in constant communication with federal Justice officials in Washington, D.C. during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, through the development of the prosecution case and on charging decisions.
“Anytime there’s a case of national significance, we consult with main Justice,” Williams said.
Defense lawyers Wednesday vigorously challenged misdemeanor charges against four defendants accused in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as the judge prodded a prosecutor to make his case against each by citing specific evidence and exhibits.
The defense argued that the federal regulation involving trespass at a national wildlife refuge is vague, that defendants never received formal notice they were trespassing and that no evidence exists that the four saw trespassing signs on the property.
Criminal conspirators or political protesters? Lawyers paint different portraits of refuge occupiers
Prosecutors urged jurors to use common sense and consider the “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” to find four defendants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter guilty of conspiring to prevent federal workers from doing their jobs through intimidation, threat or force.
“At its core, this case is about four defendants who went too far,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight said Tuesday.
He reminded the jury that no formal agreement is necessary to prove the conspiracy charge.
The manager of the Malheur National Wildife Refuge and its former fish biologist returned to the witness stand Tuesday morning in the government’s rebuttal to testify about the fears they felt just before and during the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Refuge manager Chad Karges, who was aware Ammon Bundy and followers were in the Burns area in late November and December 2015, said he placed loaded guns at every door of his home “just because of the threats I had seen” involving Bundy and his standoff with federal agents in Bunkerville, Nevada in 2014.
After Christmas 2015, Karges told his kids and grandkids not to venture into Burns.
Bruce “B.J.” Soper, a founding member of the Pacific Patriots Network, testified Monday that he heard Ammon Bundy propose taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a hard stand during a brief meeting in a Burns home on Dec. 29, 2015.
But in contrast to refuge occupier Blaine Cooper’s testimony for the government, Soper said no logistics were discussed. He said Jason Patrick, Jon Ritzheimer, Ryan Payne and others were present but they never talked about how Bundy planned to accomplish the takeover. There was no discussion about refuge employees and no final decision was made during the 10- to 15-minute meeting, Soper said.
None of the four defendants in the second trial of Oregon refuge occupiers are gung-ho to take the witness stand – a big change from the first trial.
That decision has helped moved this trial along at a much faster clip. Closing arguments are tentatively set for Tuesday, the ninth day of trial, so the case could go to the jury early this week.
In the first case, four of the seven defendants took the stand to explain to jurors themselves why they went to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter.
What was the meaning of occupier Brand Thornton’s blowing of the shofar when he accompanied the first convoy of men who seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2, 2016?
One prosecution witness said the sounding of the ram’s horn meant an “all clear” signal after protesters went building to building, armed with rifles, to check if anybody was on the federal property. Another prosecution witness called it a symbol of battle.
Prosecutors can play an excerpt from an Oregon Public Broadcasting interview with Ryan Bundy for jurors in the second Oregon standoff trial, but it won’t include reporter John Sepulvado’s commentary, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown made the decision over the strong objections of defense lawyers.
Iva Henderson, at age 59, had never been on an airplane before she was subpoenaed to testify in federal court in Portland this week.
Henderson and her husband, Rich Henderson, live a small rural community near Riggins, Idaho, population 600. Both had spent two nights at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter. They said they’d gone there to protest what they viewed as the unjust federal prosecution of two Harney County ranchers for setting fire to public land.
Montana resident Roxsanna Ryan, who home schooled her 12 children, said she wasn’t surprised when her middle child Jake Ryan, 28, chose to stay at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter when he accompanied his father and brothers on a drive from their home to deliver community-donated goods to the occupiers in Oregon.
She said the next time she heard from Jake Ryan was the night of Jan. 26, 2016, in a “goodbye” call, his voice shaking and in fear following the police fatal shooting of occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum.
Defense lawyers have urged a federal judge to issue an arrest warrant for William R. Kullman, a man they suspect was an FBI informant who played a role in security and defense training during the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Attorney Jesse Merrithew said Kullman, who lives in northern Washington, was served last month with a subpoena to testify in the second Oregon standoff trial but failed to show for court. The federal government also has indicated it won’t assist in compelling Kullman’s testimony, Merrithew noted in a court filing.
Prosecutors spent twice as long cross-examining Ammon Bundy when he returned to a Portland courtroom Tuesday compared to last fall during his own trial that ended with his acquittal on conspiracy and weapons charges.
This time, Bundy was the first witness for the defense of four men who say they were inspired by his videos and calls to take a “hard stand in Burns” and now face trial themselves in the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
As the federal government rested its case Tuesday morning after just over five days of testimony in the second Oregon standoff trial, it was clear prosecutors had listened to Juror 4 from the first trial.
From opening statements through their questioning of witnesses, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Geoffrey Barrow and Ethan Knight repeatedly focused on trying to show how the actions of the four defendants now on trial revealed their intent to prevent federal wildlife refuge workers from doing their jobs through intimidation, threat or force.
Ammon Bundy called a clandestine meeting around the dining room of their host’s home in Burns on Dec. 29, 2015, and directed the six other men there to leave their cellphones and laptops behind in a separate room.
Bundy then discussed his idea of taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said occupier Blaine Cooper, called as a government witness on the fifth day of the second Oregon standoff trial.
Cooper’s testimony about the dining-room sit-down marked the first time anyone in court has referenced a late December meeting between Bundy and the other men about seizing the refuge before the Jan. 2, 2016, occupation.