Domestic Terrorism

Bundy Militiamen Absurdly Cleared of Weapons Charges

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

At the very least, you'd expect the Bundy militiamen who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon for over 40 days to be convicted on federal weapons charges, but a jury of their nincompoop peers cleared them of weapons charges last night.

The Bundy brothers and occupiers Jeff Banta and David Fry also were found not guilty of having guns in a federal facility. Kenneth Medenbach was found not guilty of stealing government property, and a hung jury was declared on Ryan Bundy's charge of theft of FBI surveillance cameras.

The Bundy militia's armed takeover of the refuge was literally live-streamed to the entire world. There are countless photos and videos of them carrying and firing their weapons on federal property. FBI agents testified at trial that they recovered over 16,000 rounds of live ammunition and over 1,300 rounds of spent shell casings from the property.

The overwhelming evidence of their guilt apparently didn't sway a biased jury that I can only assume held sympathetic feelings toward the defendants' cause. There's certainly no legal explanation why they would clear the militiamen of weapons charges. The law was not justly applied here.

This verdict caught me by surprise for all the reasons I listed above. The evidence that these men illegally carried their weapons into federal property is abundant. It's not as if they tried to hide it, either. Their very-armed takeover was the whole point of their operation.

At the end of the day, these are all white men and women who were cleared by a jury of white men and women. I doubt anyone could honestly say a black or Latino militia would be allowed to walk away from similar charges and an abundant amount of evidence to their guilt.

If it's any consolation, ringleader Ammon Bundy won't be going anywhere. Ammon is still facing charges for his participation in the armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada.

  • muselet

    Anyone wondering what jury nullification looks like, now you know.


  • Aynwrong

    This is absurd. These people forcibly took over a federal facility at gun point and at one time opened fire on law enforcement. Yet UNARMED protesters in North Dakota and BLM activists risk their lives in confrontations with the police.

    White privilege is the understatement of the year

  • Ceoltoir

    Those 12 morons just painted a target on the backs of every conservation worker, forest ranger, game warden, law enforcement officer and government official in the western States. When one of these loons finally kills someone in their Turner Diary fantasy shoot out, the one they’ve been trying to provoke for years, I hope that someone shoves a camera in their face and forces them to explain their actions.

    • muselet

      The killer would proudly yell—they don’t have inside voices, do they?—some stupid slogan and claim to be a patriot.


  • gescove

    Could the contrast between the treatment of unarmed, peaceful protesters at Standing Rock and these out-of-state armed yahoos be more stark?

    • muselet

      Charlie Pierce made that very point today, in stark and angry terms.


  • gescove

    I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around this verdict. Unfortunately, this can only embolden more armed mooks. WTF?

    • Badgerite

      I seriously hope it does not. They created a terribly stupid and dangerous situation and in the end they achieved nothing but damage to property and one man dead. The Hammonds are still serving five year sentences because that is the law. And the law as to mandatory minimum sentencing remains unchanged. And they will not even oppose it if applied to anyone but one of their own militia types. We taxpayers will end up picking up the tab for their self indulgent splurge of commando whatever and the country as a whole supported their prosecution. They might want to keep that in mind. I doubt they will, though

  • I just can’t understand how they failed to successfully prosecute this case?!?! Did they forget to do any background research on the jury pool? Were they tampered with? Just how….seriously, WTF.

    On a more amusing note….the bailiff had to tackle Mumford, their attorney, who vociferously demanded that they be released pending the other charges from when they committed Teh Treason in Nevada. Why would they let them go? If they can now, apparently, take refuge with weapons on any Federal Land and be A-OK with the good people(I mean, eedjits) of Oregon.

    • Badgerite

      I wonder if the “biased” juror was actually for conviction and got sandbagged by those who wanted to acquit? A hung jury is not the same as an acquittal.

      • That’s what I thought too…I wonder if the “biased” juror who was removed will speak to the media.

        • Badgerite

          Might actually be dangerous for them.

  • And Bundy’s lawyer was tackled, tased, and arrested IN THE COURTROOM for arguing with the judge and Federal Marshals over Bundy’s extradition to Nevada for the other trial. And some of the defendants represented THEMSELVES (which I can only wait for the transcripts to see what sort of pro se gibberish they pulled out of their rectal cavities).

    • You beat me to the hullabaloo of the attorney. What’s even more mind boggling is that the jury (seemingly) bought into the shit smeared reasoning of these loons.

      • They were probably the proverbial choir being preached to.