Ryan Bundy, one of the leaders of the occupation in Eastern Oregon, will represent himself in court proceedings and at trial.
Bundy signed away his right to counsel at a hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland.
He will be aided by standby counsel. Bundy has been jailed in Portland for his role in a 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown repeatedly told Bundy that the risks were high and that he didn’t have the legal knowledge to fully defend himself.
“I need to be heard; my voice needs to be heard,” Ryan Bundy responded when asked why he wanted to represent himself.
Bundy told the judge he had observed his brother, Ammon Bundy, had been silenced in other court proceedings when he wanted to speak.
“I need to be able to speak when the time is right,” Ryan Bundy said.
Brown gave Bundy an example of a recent defendant who represented himself. She said the defendant provided evidence to the jury that he had tried to prohibit the judge from admitting into court.
“Mistakes are extremely high, why would you want to take on that risk yourself?” said Judge Brown.