Thursday, May 05, 2016

Defense lawyers signal push for change of venue, wider jury pool in federal conspiracy case

Before the judge arrived to discuss motions in their federal conspiracy case, more than a dozen Oregon standoff defendants began reciting the Lord's Prayer, some bowing their heads, as they sat beside their lawyers in a federal courtroom Wednesday. The gathering before the official proceedings began had the feeling of an informal revival. "What ya doing?'' one defendant yelled out in greeting as the court patched through co-defendant Shawna Cox of Utah on a speaker phone. "All we're doing here is a big government magic show.'' Defendant Jon Ritzheimer announced it was Holocaust Remembrance Day and asked people to do their part "to make sure our country doesn't go down the same path.'' Once U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown took the bench, the two-hour status hearing went on in an orderly fashion. Defense lawyers signaled they may seek a change of venue for the scheduled Sept. 7 trial stemming from the 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside Burns...more

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