Monday, September 26, 2016

Prosecution In Oregon Standoff Trial Turns Its Case To Guns

The prosecution is starting to wrap up its case as the trial of seven occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge enters its third week. They estimate they will rest their case at the end of the day Tuesday. The prosecution has moved swiftly through its case as it has presented evidence that the occupiers conspired to prevent federal employees from doing their work through the use of intimidation, threats or force. Testimony from Harney County Sheriff David Ward shed light on the lead-up to the occupation. Malheur refuge manager Chad Karges and several other refuge employees testified as to how the occupation prevented them from doing their jobs. FBI agents have testified about the actions of occupiers during the 41-day takeover, as well as tense negotiations in the final days. Testimony from Harney County Rancher Andy Dunbar, whose land borders the refuge, offered key testimony about what was heard and seen on the refuge during the occupation. During the final days of the prosecution’s presentation, the jury will start seeing a lot of the evidence collected by the FBI after the occupation ended in February. The FBI seized dozens of guns from the refuge, and the prosecution is expected to present some of them in court. Though it is unclear just how many of weapons will actually be presented. This week, the prosecution is expected to present the jury with video taken from fellow occupier Jason Blomgren’s Facebook page of several occupiers firing guns near the boat launch. In this video, the occupiers appear to be lined up in an organized manner engaging in a form of target practice. We’re expected to learn more about the evidence the video provides as the prosecution concludes its case this week...more

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