Judge Kicks the Can down the Road Again for Seven Remaining Defendants in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Occupation Trialon Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The Department of Justice appears to be stalling and Judge Anna Brown gave government prosecutors until December 14th to finally decide what they are going to do. Are they going to proceed to trial with the seven remaining defendants in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge or are they going to drop the conspiracy charges against them in view of the acquittals last month of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox and four other defendants? The Department of Justice could also seek to file lesser charges against the seven remaining defendants, but that would require a new indictment from the Grand Jury..
This is the second straight time that the Judge has granted a delay for the prosecution. It seems like they are stalling. Originally they were supposed to have made a decision by November 16th. That decision was postponed until November 21st. Then yesterday they were granted another extension until December 14th.
The Department of Justice and the Judge keep kicking the can down the road. It has been almost a year since these people were arrested. It is about time that the government make up its mind what it is going to do with the seven remaining defendants who pled not guilty and with the eleven other defendants who pled guilty while in jail to avoid the possibility of longer jail sentences.. For almost a year these people’s lives have been hanging in the balance. The judge scolded the prosecutors for taking so long, but then she gave them the additional delay that they were seeking.
As far as the eleven defendants who pled guilty under duress … no decision has been made on what to do with them. It has been relegated to the back burner for now. One of those defendants, Ryan Payne has been trying for a long time to withdraw his guilty plea.