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Judge Detains Refuge Occupier David Fry, Releases Wampler


David Fry, a 27-year-old from Ohio, was one of the last remaining occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. He surrendered Feb. 11.

David Fry, a 27-year-old from Ohio, was one of the last remaining occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. He surrendered Feb. 11.

Amanda Peacher/OPB

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman decided Friday to keep refuge occupier David Fry behind bars while he awaits trial.

Fry was the last militant to leave the refuge when the occupation ended last month. He and one other associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge appeared in court for detention hearings Friday.

Beckerman said she was concerned about Fry’s mental health, how he expresses anger, past interactions with law enforcement and his past use of marijuana.

Prosecutors said law enforcement found five guns and ammunition in Fry’s car after his arrest. Fry’s attorney, Per Olsen, said his client found the weapons at the refuge and put them in the car for safekeeping.

Though Beckerman ultimately ruled against Fry’s release, she said she appreciated the information submitted by Fry’s attorney, namely letters from his family members and friends.

Fry’s parents, William and Sachiyo Fry, wrote to Judge Beckerman that their son is not a violent person.

“David has never been violent or hateful person but he has been subjected to it throughout his life in the form of racism,” they wrote in a March 3 letter. “David has developed a unique sense of humor with a shock jock approach that he uses to effectively defend himself form this hatred and at other times.”

Beckerman granted another militant named Neil Wampler pre-trial release. Prosecutors did not ask that he be detained.

Wampler was convicted of second-degree murder in California in the 1970s.

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