Judge: ‘Special accommodation’ for Oregon standoff accused

FILE PHOTO - Ammon Bundy speaks to reporters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Bundy is the leader of a small, armed group that has been occupying the remote refuge in Oregon since Jan. 2 to protest federal land policies. Burns, Ore., Jan. 14, 2016 | AP Photo by Keith Ridler, St. George News

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge said in court papers that he has allowed six of the defendants accused in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year to meet with their attorneys — and sometimes with each other — at a special courthouse location after they complained about their ability to prepare for trial from a county jail.

This Jan. 27, 2016, photo provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office shows Ammon Bundy, one of the members of an armed group that occupied central Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as part of a dispute over public lands in the Western U.S. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones said in the declaration Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, that he allowed six defendants accused in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year to meet with their attorneys, and sometimes with each other, at a special courthouse location after they complained about access to their attorneys | Photo courtesy of Multnomah County Sheriff via AP, St. George News
This Jan. 27, 2016, photo provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office shows Ammon Bundy, one of the members of an armed group that occupied central Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as part of a dispute over public lands in the Western U.S. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones said he allowed six defendants accused in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year to meet with their attorneys, and sometimes with each other, at a special courthouse location after they complained about access to their attorneys | Photo courtesy of Multnomah County Sheriff via AP, St. George News

The defendants are being housed at the Multnomah County Detention Center, and U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones said in the declaration filed late Thursday he at first kept the meetings “off the record” because jail staff was concerned other inmates would request similar treatment.

The trial of Ammon Bundy and seven others charged in the 41-day occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled to start Sept. 7.

The takeover lasted nearly six weeks and included the fatal shooting by police of rancher and occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum. The occupiers wanted the federal government to relinquish public lands and free two Oregon ranchers imprisoned for setting fires. Neither demand was met.

Under the arrangements, the defendants can meet with their attorneys and an investigator and have access to the internet, cellphones and can review evidence in the case electronically.

File photo provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, shows Ryan Bundy, one of the members of an armed group that occupied central Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as part of a dispute over public lands in the Western U.S. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones said in the declaration Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, that he allowed six defendants accused in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year to meet with their attorneys, and sometimes with each other, at a special courthouse location after they complained about access to their attorneys. | Photo courtesy of Multnomah County Sheriff via AP
File photo provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, shows Ryan Bundy, one of the members of an armed group that occupied central Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as part of a dispute over public lands in the Western U.S. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones said he allowed six defendants accused in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year to meet with their attorneys, and sometimes with each other, at a special courthouse location after they complained about access to their attorneys. | Photo courtesy of Multnomah County Sheriff via AP

Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service observe the meetings on a screen, but the conversations are not recorded.

Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan, met under these conditions for two full days in June. A second meeting in July was canceled after their attorneys did not show up, Jones wrote, and they have not requested another one.

Four other defendants also used the location for meetings with their attorneys, Jones said. “The feedback from those who had met with their clients in the Marshal’s lock up was uniformly positive,” he wrote.

The Bundy brothers and others complained in court papers in May that they did not have a confidential phone line in jail, had no access to federal court files online and jailers sometimes read and confiscated their trial preparation notes.

“They want to direct their defense, with the assistance of their lawyers to do so,” the papers read. “The current conditions of the jail make this impossible.”

Written by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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6 Comments

  • tcrider August 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I say let the utah firing squad use these inbred non patriots for target practice.

  • .... August 5, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    They arm themselves and violate the law and threaten law enforcement personnel and act in a disorderly fashion which results in the death of someone, they made their choices so now accept the results of those decisions. ..

    • Real Life August 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Nobody cares what you think.

      • .... August 6, 2016 at 5:48 pm

        Nobody cares what you think

  • anybody home August 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

    This band of whiny-azzed thugs has done nothing but complain and refuse to take responsibility for any of their actions. Now, with a month to go before the trial, they’re desperate and panicky and flooding the court with ridiculous petitions, including Ryan Bundy’s now famous “I am an idiot” statement. Boy howdy, everybody agreed with that one. The judge is strong and patient but brooks no nonsense and these yahoos hate that. Stay tuned, St. George, when the fun begins.

  • .... August 8, 2016 at 2:26 am

    It seems Real Lifes feels that they are the victims here by his comment ! why am I not surprised. may the Lord watch over him . Praise the Lord

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