Thursday, December 29, 2016

Judge denies Oregon standoff defendant Ryan Payne's motion to withdraw guilty plea

Calling it a classic example of "buyer's remorse,'' a federal judge Wednesday denied Oregon standoff defendant Ryan Payne's motion to withdraw his guilty plea to a conspiracy charge in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown found that Payne's plea in the Oregon case wasn't contingent on reaching a plea agreement in his federal prosecution in Nevada as his defense lawyer argued. "Although Payne apparently desired to enter into agreements that would resolve both this case and the case against him in the District of Nevada, the plea agreement and guilty plea in this case were, as noted, explicitly independent of any contemplated or anticipated agreement in the District of Nevada,'' Brown wrote in her 32-page ruling, citing statements by a prosecutor made during Payne's plea hearing in July. Payne entered the agreement here based on a global offer pending in the Nevada case, his lawyer wrote in his motion. When no agreement could be reached in Nevada, Payne, 33, asked to seek a jury trial in Oregon. Payne, one of the 26 people indicted on a conspiracy charge in the seizure of the eastern Oregon refuge, made his request two weeks before a federal jury acquitted Ammon Bundy and six co-defendants of the Malheur conspiracy and weapons charges...more

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