Monday, June 13, 2016

Oregon Occupiers Cleared of Most Serious Charge

Ammon Bundy and fellow militants will not face a charge that could have carried a life sentence, after a judge found their armed occupation of a wildlife refuge wasn't a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown on Friday dismissed the most serious charge — using a gun to commit a crime of violence — against Bundy, his brother Ryan, Jon Ritzheimer, Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier, Jason Patrick and Sean Anderson, related to their occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. The charge exposed the seven men to the possibility of life in prison. It also carried a minimum sentence of five years and a mandate to serve the sentence consecutively to any sentence imposed for the other two counts — conspiracy to keep federal workers from doing their jobs by using force, intimidation or threats, and possession of firearms in a federal facility. Those two charges are considerably less serious. Neither imposes a minimum sentence. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of six years in prison, while the possession charge has a maximum of five years.  In her June 10 ruling, Brown found that the conspiracy charge is not a crime of violence because threats and intimidation can apply to nonviolent acts like damage to property, rather than physical violence against a person.  Similarly, a threat to blackmail a federal officer "is a kind of threat that does not necessarily require as an element the 'threatened use of physical force,'" Brown wrote. The ruling sets the roadmap for the trial against the 26 defendants, which is set to begin in September and anticipated to drag into 2017...more

Thought this article provided more info than previous post on this topic.

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