Sandy Anderson

Sandy Anderson

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office

A federal magistrate judge ordered one of the last four holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to be released from jail.

Sandy Anderson, who had once screamed into the desert air at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that she would not be taken alive by authorities, only made a small whimper during her detention hearing when Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart told her not to contact any of the other co-defendants. 

“Including your husband,” Stewart said, referring to Sean Anderson, who is still in custody.

Despondent and depressed, the 48-year-old Idaho resident sat silently with her head down and her shoulders slumped as Stewart listed other conditions. Anderson won’t be able to leave the state of Idaho, except for court appearances in Oregon. She also isn’t allowed to possess firearms.

She was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. While a federal prosecutor agreed that “mental health issues may be in play,” the government argued that Anderson should remain in custody, citing her unwillingness to leave the refuge. They also argued Anderson was a flight risk. 

Anderson’s attorney argued she was unlikely to flee to avoid prosecution and had no prior criminal record.