Federal judge denies pre-trial release of Ammon Bundy, most othe - KPTV - FOX 12

Federal judge denies pre-trial release of Ammon Bundy, most other protesters

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Ammon Bundy, jail booking photo Ammon Bundy, jail booking photo

After their arrests on Tuesday, Ammon Bundy and nine other co-defendants appeared for detention hearings Friday to see if they could get out jail before their trials.

Bundy’s lawyers argued that their client wanted to go home to Idaho, run his business and take care of his wife and six kids.

They assured the court that he would abide by pre-trial release conditions and that he has no desire to rejoin the armed militia in Burns.  In fact, the attorneys said, Bundy wants the last occupiers to go home.

The lead protester at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge stood in the courtroom Friday to state why he took the actions he did.

“I do love this country very, very much.  I love the people in it,” he said. “And my only goal from the beginning was to protect freedom for the people.”

However, federal judge Stacie Beckerman did not agree with Bundy’s rhetoric.

Beckerman said Bundy broke the law for weeks and had ample opportunism to leave, instead choosing to put the lives of police officers and civilians in danger.

Those acts, she said, does not give her faith in new promises from Bundy.

“Through his actions, I don’t believe he’ll comply with rules by the federal government,” Beckerman said, also giving similar reasons for denying Ryan Bundy early release.  "I reject the idea this was a peaceful operation based on freedom of speech."

The brothers were arrested on Tuesday during a traffic stop on Highway 395. While Ammon was in one car and surrendered without incident, Ryan Bundy was in the truck driven by LaVoy Finicum, who was killed during the arrest.

By the end of the day Friday, the eight other defendants had also been in front of the judge.

Protesters Ryan Payne, Jason Patrick and Dylan Anderson were also denied requests for release.

Judge Beckerman did agree to release the only the woman arrested, Shawna Cox, but not until the standoff at the refuge comes to an end, saying she doesn't want Cox to act on impulse and return to the refuge.

Joseph O’Shaughnessy, another protester arrested Tuesday, was originally granted release before the judge stayed the decision until Tuesday, giving time for prosecutors to respond to evidence presented in court Friday.

The judge also said she may release radio host Peter Santilli, pending further hearings next week.

Co-defendant Duane Ehmer's case was set over until next week. Brian Cavalier also had his hearing held over to Tuesday in order for his defense team to have more time to prepare their case.

After court proceedings finished, Ammon Bundy's lawyer, Mike Arnold, spoke to reporters on the steps of the federal courthouse, again asking the remaining few occupiers of the refuge to leave and calling the armed occupation an act of civil disobedience.

"They exercised their first amendment rights to free speech, and it happened at the same time they exercised their second amendment rights to possess firearms.  That does not mean it's a threat," Arnold said.  "There's no more civil disobedience that needs to be undertaken to get this to a national stage, and that's what's important to remember, is that the message is out there and people are listening."

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