Law & Justice

Still Burning / Flickr

A forum in Boise will focus on reform in the Idaho and federal criminal justice systems.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Sean and Sandy Anderson of Riggins, Idaho, made some poor choices when they joined the occupiers at a wildlife refuge in Oregon, but they did nothing wrong.

That's the opinion of Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings.

Even though the couple posted videos and social media messages urging violence against the government, the sheriff says they were only exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.

Giddings told The Lewiston Tribune Thursday that the Andersons got swept up in the emotions of the moment.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

On any given day, several hundred prisoners of the state of Idaho are housed in county jails. For the last half year it averages to more than 630, and the state paid the counties about $1 million a month to keep them. They’re there for short stays, like if someone violates parole or has just been sentenced and it might take some time to get his or her spot ready at the state prison. 

Malheur Refuge Occupiers Go Silent

Feb 1, 2016
Bradley Parks / OPB

Update: 9:44 a.m. Monday - Lawyers for the leader of the armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge have appealed a judge's decision to keep him in jail pending trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said Ammon Bundy presents a danger to the community and the Idaho resident might fail to return for future court proceedings.

Bundy's lawyers said in documents filed Sunday that their client should be released with a GPS monitoring device and orders he not leave Idaho except for court appearances.

Twitter

Ammon Bundy and his armed followers made ample use of social media while occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge, and federal officials are using those posts, videos and photos to build the case against them.

Two criminal complaints show that federal authorities have carefully scrutinized the group's social media postings and video interviews.

A day after the Jan. 2 occupation began, Bundy posted a video saying the group planned to stay for several years and calling on "people to come out here and stand" and "we need you to bring your arms."

Update: 8:00 a.m. Friday - A federal judge says she will not release any of the people arrested in the standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge while the occupation continues.

The Oregonian reports U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman made the comments Thursday during an initial court appearance in Portland for three of the 11 people arrested. The FBI said four people remained at the site late Thursday.

FBI Says Standoff Continues, Releases Video Of Finicum Death

Jan 29, 2016
FBI / YouTube

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. Friday - OPB obtained audio of a conversation Friday morning from one of the four remaining occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. 

The remaining militants inside are David Fry of Blanchester, Ohio, husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Wisconsin, and Jeff Banta of Elko, Nevada.

During the conversation, Sean Anderson said the group is not going to negotiate with the FBI at this time, and they are prepared to wait until all their supplies are depleted.

Amanda Peacher / OPB

Update: 3:00 p.m. -  Law enforcement officers have driven a large convoy of vehicles into the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Four vehicles were seen leaving the refuge toward Burns shortly after entering. 

It’s unclear if the remaining four militants at the refuge have surrendered. But earlier today, two of them said they were willing to end the occupation if they could avoid charges.

Bradley Parks / OPB

UPDATE: 10:10 p.m. Wednesday - The FBI and Oregon State Police say they've arrested three more people connected to the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in a remote Oregon area.

A statement said they arrested 45-year-old Duane Leo Ehmer of Irrigon, Oregon, and 34-year-old Dylan Wade Anderson of Provo, Utah, around 3:30 p.m. A few hours later, 43-year-old Jason S. Patrick of Bonaire, Georgia, was arrested.

The FBI says the men turned themselves in to agents at a checkpoint on a road near the refuge.

Militants Appear In Federal Court, Bundy Calls For End To Standoff

Jan 27, 2016
OPB

The federal government outlined its case Wednesday against Ammon Bundy and other militants charged with occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge.

The criminal complaint against the defendants was unsealed at the start of the proceeding. Many leafed through the complaint at the hearing with their lawyers. Others took them when they left the courtroom, as they returned to lockup. 

Media Leaves Refuge In Burns

Jan 27, 2016
Amanda Preacher / OPB

Most media outlets have pulled their teams out from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. As OPB's John Sepulvado reports, media left the occupied area after militants began to act erratic in the early morning.

The FBI gave media a warning that federal authorities would begin to take action without consideration of bystanders. However, that was just an addendum to an already surreal experience near the compound.

Deceased Militant LaVoy Finicum: Rancher, Patriarch, Bundy Believer

Jan 27, 2016
Amelia Templeton / OPB

Robert LaVoy Finicum, who died Tuesday in a confrontation with FBI and state police on the highway between Burns and John Day, was a man whose life was transformed by the 2014 standoff between Cliven Bundy and federal officials in Nevada.

Bradley Parks / OPB

 

The latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):

12:49 p.m. Wednesday

A rancher who was killed during a traffic stop while in Oregon for an armed standoff at a wildlife refuge recently vowed he would die before going to prison.

Fifty-five-year-old LaVoy Finicum of Cain Beds, Arizona, died after law enforcement officers initiated the stop Tuesday night near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The owners of the Village Cinemas in Meridian are suing the Idaho State Police because the agency wants to revoke the theater’s liquor license. The action stems from an instance last February when undercover officers say they were served alcohol at a showing of Fifty Shades of Grey, an R-rated movie about sexual fetishes. Idaho law prohibits alcohol at movies that include sexual content.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit challenging a decision by the U.S. Forest Service that allows more than 100 helicopter landings this winter in a central Idaho wilderness area so state wildlife officials can put tracking collars on elk.

Wilderness Watch and two other groups in the lawsuit filed Thursday say the federal agency is violating the Wilderness Act by allowing helicopters into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

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