Sunday, July 17, 2016

Federal judge: Possible misconduct by FBI in LaVoy Finicum shooting irrelevant to defense in Oregon standoff case

The investigation into alleged misconduct by FBI Hostage Rescue Team officers at the scene of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum's shooting in Harney County isn't relevant to the defense in the federal conspiracy case pending against Ammon Bundy and co-defendants, a federal judge ruled Friday. Prosecutors last month revealed that the federal investigation into an FBI agent's apparent firing of gunshots at Finicum on Jan. 26 and the alleged FBI tampering with evidence at the scene had gone to a grand jury for review. They objected to any sharing of the evidence with defense lawyers. Defense lawyers urged the judge to compel the government to turn over the investigative records regarding the FBI's alleged misconduct. They argued that prosecutors must share any evidence that could benefit the defense, including any material that could damage the credibility of a prosecution witness. Federal prosecutors countered that they won't call law enforcement officers involved in the investigation as witnesses in the case.  The judge also found that the investigative details of the FBI's actions were not relevant for co-defendant David Fry and three other refuge holdouts who were the last to surrender on Feb. 11, since they didn't learn of the alleged FBI coverup until after their arrests.
In related action, the judge denied defendants' motion for a change of venue. While acknowledging that the media coverage during the refuge occupation and since has been extensive, she found no showing that it's been prejudicial, Brown said...more

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