Jury selection begins for trial of Malheur Wildlife Refuge occup - KPTV - FOX 12

Jury selection begins for trial of Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupiers

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Ammon Bundy at wildlife refuge in January Ammon Bundy at wildlife refuge in January
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The jury selection process will begin Wednesday for the trial of several protesters who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January.

Ammon Bundy and several others are charged with conspiring against federal employees through intimidation and threats of force.  

The defendants also face charges of processing firearms at a federal facility.

The occupation began Jan. 2 and lasted 41 days. The majority of the occupiers were arrested on Jan. 26 following a traffic stop and confrontation with police that left one man, Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum, dead.

The standoff began at first as a protest against the imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers, who were convicted for setting fires to public land.

The protest grew into a general statement against the U.S. government.

Opening statements in the trial could begin as early and Sept. 13. Another trial is set for next February.  

Internet journalist Peter Santilli was also set to appear in court Wednesday. Court officials dropped all charges against Santilli Tuesday after his attorneys argued he was only exercising his right to free speech. 

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