Now Playing:

News

Nation | local | News | An Occupation In Eastern Oregon

Prosecutors: Malheur Defendants Don't Speak For Rural America


Four men who helped take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year were convicted of a variety of federal felonies Friday.

Jurors convicted Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn on a federal conspiracy charge linked to the case, and found Jake Ryan and Duane Ehmer guilty of depredation of government property.

The second trial’s verdicts mark a stark contrast to last October’s trial, which ended in acquittals for occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, as well as five others.

OPB’s Conrad Wilson sat down with Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy Williams and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight, who led the prosecution in Malheur case. 

The federal prosecutors gave a wide-ranging interview about the lessons they learned from last fall’s acquittals, whether convictions on the lesser defendants can be viewed as justice, and why they think the occupiers don’t speak for rural America.

“That mindset [of the occupiers] doesn’t reflect rural Oregon,” Williams said, “because the vast majority of people in our rural communities are the bedrock of America. And they don’t believe in armed takeovers. They don’t believe in trying to get your point across at the end of a gun.”

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview with federal prosecutors.

More News

More OPB

Related Content