Ammon Bundy takes stand for second day in refuge standoff trial - KPTV - FOX 12

Ammon Bundy takes stand for second day in refuge standoff trial

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Testifying Wednesday, Ammon Bundy said that while occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge did block entrances and change signs, they did not block federal workers from doing their jobs. (KPTV) Testifying Wednesday, Ammon Bundy said that while occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge did block entrances and change signs, they did not block federal workers from doing their jobs. (KPTV)
Judge Anna Brown prevented attempts by Ammon Bundy to read religious scripture and repeat comments from others claiming they were threatened by federal agents during the federal trial Wednesday. (KPTV) Judge Anna Brown prevented attempts by Ammon Bundy to read religious scripture and repeat comments from others claiming they were threatened by federal agents during the federal trial Wednesday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There were highlights and fireworks in federal court Wednesday, with ongoing disagreements between Judge Anna Brown and the lawyer for Ammon Bundy about what testimony is relevant and admissible.

When it came down to the specific charges in this case, though, Bundy, considered to be the leader of those who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year, said he never conspired to stop federal workers from doing their jobs.

Bundy testified Tuesday that after a meeting in Burns with the Hammond family, the ranchers convicted of arson on federal land, he demanded that Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward intervene on their behalf.

After that meeting, Bundy and hundreds of supporters sent a letter to local and state leaders asking for a review of the evidence in the Hammonds’ case. He never got a response and claims the FBI told those leaders to ignore him.

So at a rally on January 2, Bundy called on protesters to make a hard stand with him at the refuge.

"I proposed we go into the refuge, take possession of these lands and give them back to the people," he said in court Wednesday.

At one point, Bundy started to read religious scripture on the stand, but Judge Brown would not allow it.

He also tried to repeat comments he said the Hammonds made about threats from federal agents, but the judge shut that down, too, causing Bundy's lawyer Marcus Mumford to erupt and call for a mistrial.

Things calmed down and Bundy said that although they blocked the entrance to the refuge and changed the signs, the occupiers never prevented Fish and Wildlife workers from doing their jobs. In fact, Bundy said he called the federal employees victims as well.

As for why he asked supporters to bring their guns, Bundy said he thought they were necessary so people would listen to the protesters.

"I believe if we hadn’t gone there with guns and our second amendment rights, they would've come in with paddy wagons, zip-tied us up and hauled us away,” he testified. “We wouldn't have been able to explain why we were there."

Bundy's co-defendant Shawna Cox said she is proud of his testimony, saying that it was from “the Ammon I know and love."

Cox said there was no criminal conspiracy, saying instead that they occupied the refuge to bring attention to the Hammonds’ case and that she's still behind Bundy 100 percent.

“I am a witness to the truth of what he speaks about and I believe that we have just made a turn and hopefully reached people's hearts," she said.

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