Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Malheur refuge defendant seeks to withdraw guilty plea

An Arizona man is the latest Oregon standoff figure to ask for his guilty plea to be withdrawn.
Joseph O'Shaughnessy pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge nearly three months before a jury acquitted seven of his co-defendants, including standoff leaders Ammon Bundy. O'Shaughnessy is awaiting a February trial on accusations stemming from a 2014 standoff with federal agents at a Nevada ranch owned by Ammon Bundy's father, Cliven Bundy, Defense attorney Tony Schwartz said O'Shaughnessy had a plea deal in Nevada, but it was contingent on him pleading guilty in Oregon.  Because the Nevada plea offer fell apart, his client should be able to withdraw his Oregon plea. "As the idiom goes: what is good for the goose is good for the gander," Schwartz wrote in a motion filed Sunday. "If the Nevada prosecutors can press forward with trial, then Mr. O'Shaughnessy should be allowed to defend his Oregon case in trial." When he pleaded guilty Aug. 1 in Portland, O'Shaughnessy said he didn't participate in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but felt a duty to provide security for those protesting federal control of public lands and the imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers...more

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