An Oregon Jury on Thursday found Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy and five co-defendants not guilty of conspiring to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs through intimidation, threat or force during the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The jury returned the verdicts after five hours of deliberation in the high-profile case drew national attention to the federal bird sanctuary in rural eastern Oregon.
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) October 28, 2016
Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford was tazed by marshals in courtroom
Minutes after the verdict, Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford asked the judge to free the defendants and argued that Ammon should be allowed to walk out of the court, a free man.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown told him that there was a U.S. Marshal’s hold on him from a pending federal indictment in Nevada.
“If there’s a detainer, show me,” Mumford stood, arguing before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown.
Suddenly, a group of about six U.S. Marshals surrounded Mumford at his defense table and grabbed on to him.
“What are you doing?” Mumford yelled, as he struggled and was taken down to the floor.
As deputy marshals yelled, “Stop resisting,” the judge demanded, “Everybody out of the courtroom now!”
Mumford was taken into custody, a member of his legal team confirmed.
Lawyer J. Morgan Philpot:’What happened at the end is symbolic of the improper use of force by the fed govt’ pic.twitter.com/u5ZwLm7pd0
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) October 28, 2016
The charges stem from the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.
“The people have to insist that the government is not our master; they are our servants,” Ryan Bundy said during his closing statement to the jury.
Bundy added the occupation had “nothing to do with impeding and preventing the employees of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.” The Bundy Family and supporters claim the occupation was meant to shift the federally-owned land to local control and expose the Bureau of Land Management’s unconstitutional ownership and management of public lands.
The acquittal is bittersweet for those involved, who say the federal government acted with extreme prejudice and malice. During the initial arrest of the now innocent parties, the FBI shot and killed Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum. Those involved say LaVoy was murdered, without ever having the opportunity to have his day in court.
“My dad was such a good good man, through and through,” said Arianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of Finicum’s 11 children. “He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved.”