Friday, April 29, 2016

Ammon Bundy offered to plead guilty to spare other militants

Three days after he was arrested on a remote highway north of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January, Ammon Bundy offered to plead guilty to a felony conspiracy charge for occupying the refuge if the government would drop charges for other defendants and allow the remaining occupants to go home safely. The plea deal, which prosecutors rejected two weeks later, was revealed yesterday in a legal filing from Bundy's attorney Mike Arnold in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. "On January 29, 2016, when more government initiated violence seemed highly probable, Mr. Bundy reached out on his own initiative, through legal counsel, in an attempt to facilitate a speedy resolution, offering to take all responsibility for the protest," Arnold wrote. "This is the kind of leadership and responsibility with which Mr. Bundy has been known throughout his life, and certainly throughout this protest." The government formally responded Feb. 10 -- one day before the remaining four occupants peacefully exited the refuge -- stating "it is simply too early to discuss resolution of the case," Arnold wrote in the 24-page filing. Since then, Malheur occupants including Bundy have been charged with five additional felony charges. Bundy's filing yesterday asked the court to grant a 30-day extension to yesterday's deadline to file preliminary legal arguments...more

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