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Seven Harney Co Occupiers Acquitted

PORTLAND, OR -- A federal court jury in Portland returned a not guilty verdict, Thursday afternoon, in the trial of seven people accused of taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January.

 

Neil Wampler was one of those defendants. He told a crowd gathered outside the courthouse, "The verdict came back a clean sweep for all of us." Co-defendant Shawna Cox proclaimed, "We were just set free."

 

On Wednesday, one of the jurors was dismissed for being biased. An alternate juror was chosen and deliberations started from the beginning, Thursday morning. 

 

During the five-week trial, prosecutors tried to prove the seven threatened federal workers with their armed occupation, and prevented them from doing their jobs. Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward testified for the prosecution. He issued a statement Thursday night, saying he's disappointed with the outcome, but stands by the judicial system.
 
After the verdict was read, the attorney for Ammon Bundy asked the judge why his client wasn't being released. Marcus Mumford says, "I just turned to them and I said show me what papers you have. And the next thing I know, they surrounded me and they were talking about how I was resisting arrest." He was charged with resisting arrest and released. "All I was asking for was papers – just show me you have the authority to take Mr. Bundy into custody." The judge says Ammon and Ryan Bundy will remain in custody, because they have a federal hold for a trial in Nevada, in connection with the 2014 standoff on federal land involving their father.
 

 

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