Federal prosecutors filed a motion Monday to drop charges against Marcus Mumford, the former attorney for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation leader Ammon Bundy.
Mumford has been charged with a series of misdemeanors stemming from an altercation with U.S. marshals.
“I felt that [the charges] were unwarranted,” Michael Levine, Mumford’s attorney, told OPB. “I’m glad for Mr. Mumford and I’m glad for the criminal defense bar.”
Levine said the prosecutors did the right thing in moving to dismiss the case.
The incident took place Oct. 27, 2016, on the ninth floor of the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Portland, just after a jury acquitted Bundy and six others of federal conspiracy charges for their roles in the armed refuge takeover.
After the acquittals, Mumford argued Bundy should be set free. But since Bundy is also facing federal charges in Nevada, there were orders to hold him.
Video of the incident that followed shows marshals tackling Mumford to the ground. A female U.S. marshal used her stun gun on him, according to court filings.
Mumford was set to go to trial in April before a judge on two misdemeanors: failure to comply with signs of prohibitory, regulatory and directory nature; and failure to comply with lawful direction of a federal police officer.
“Possibly the government thought twice about prosecuting a criminal defense attorney who, after all in my view, was simply zealously representing his client,” Levine said. “Maybe the optics just wouldn’t be good, even with a conviction.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is prosecuting the case.
Joseph Harrington, the acting U.S. attorney for the district, told OPB he has no comment on the decision to drop charges.
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour will need to sign off on the dismissal.