Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Defense rests with witness confirming he was FBI informant and ran occupation's shooting range

A flag signed by various occupiers hangs in the common area of a bunkhouse at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Jan. 15, 2016. Thomas Boyd/Staff
Defense lawyers rested in the Oregon standoff case Monday after they called a witness who confirmed he was an informant for the FBI and acknowledged that he infiltrated the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and supervised the shooting range for several days. The man who occupiers initially knew only by his alias "John Killman'' was revealed to be Fabio Minoggio, a Las Vegas resident subpoenaed by the defense to testify after prosecutors declined to confirm if he was a government informant. Prosecutors followed with a quick rebuttal case, calling four witnesses to counter various points made in the defense case. And so ended the evidence phase of the federal conspiracy trial of refuge takeover leader Ammon Bundy and six others after five weeks of testimony. U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown will give jury instructions Tuesday morning with closing arguments to follow. While at the refuge, Minoggio said he was asked to oversee the shooting range, which earlier testimony revealed was by the refuge boat launch. He said he provided training on firearms safety and proficient use of firearms to the occupiers. Minoggio was one of 15 confidential informants who fed the FBI information about the occupiers, testimony showed. Nine of the 15 were at the refuge for various lengths of time between Jan. 4 and Jan. 26, according to a statement that Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel read to jurors. Those nine included the three who have been identified at trial: Minoggio, defense witness Terri Linnell of California and Mark McConnell, who was the driver of the Jeep that Ammon Bundy was riding in when he was arrested on Jan. 26. None of the unidentified other six informants were at the refuge beyond Jan. 23, Gabriel told jurors. Killman, defense lawyer Tiffany Harris pointed out in a written legal brief, was a participant in the firearms and military-style maneuvers training during the occupation and helped train one of the defendants, Jeff Banta, in hand-to-hand combat techniques...more

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