U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown said the second trial for defendants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge would move forward, as planned, with jury selection starting on Feb. 14.
“From my perspective, we’re going forward to trial,” Brown said, “unless good cause arises.”
Federal prosecutors asked Brown to delay the trial by 60 days. But the judge agreed with defense attorneys that wasn’t necessary.
The upcoming trial includes seven defendants: Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Jake Ryan, Sean Anderson, Sandy Anderson, Darryl Thorn and Dylan Anderson. The felony charges include conspiring to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs at the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge and, for some, carrying a firearm in a federal facility.
Ongoing coverage of the federal case against the people involved in the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and how life has changed in Harney County, Oregon.
Those are the same charges Ammon Bundy and other leaders of the occupation were acquitted of in October.
In a court memo filed Monday, the government said it plans to bring Class B misdemeanors against Patrick and the other defendants, including trespassing, tampering with vehicles and equipment, and destruction of property.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel said the government would officially file those additional charges no later than Monday, Dec. 19.
Misdemeanors were not part of the first trial.
Gabriel also said prosecutors would be bringing an additional felony charge against Ehmer, which they will present to a grand jury next week. Ehmer gained notoriety for riding his horse Hellboy around the refuge during the occupation while carrying an American flag.
Brown also denied Patrick’s motion to dismiss the case outright.
Brown said she plans to send out 1,000 jury summonses statewide. In the first Malheur trial the court sent out 1,500 summonses statewide.
The government said its case would take about a week and a half. The defense estimated its case would last around two and a half weeks.