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Malheur II – UPDATE – Bench Trial

Malheur II - (Not) Learning From Past Mistakes bench

Malheur II UPDATE

Bench Trial

By Shari Dovale

 

Today’s court proceedings saw the Bench trial for the 4 remaining defendants in the second Malheur  Protest trial in Portland.

Judge Anna Brown presided over the remaining misdemeanor charges while the jury deliberates the felony charges against Jason Patrick,  Duane Ehmer, Darryl Thorn and Jake Ryan.

AUSA Geoff Barrow did not seem prepared for the higher standard that Judge Brown expected.

Judge Brown set a much higher bar than anyone expected. She was not happy that the prosecution treated the case as “a given”. She required them to specify exhibits and evidence for each charge and each defendant.

Charges include trespassing against all four,  The defense attorneys were much better prepared for today.

When asked how Jake Ryan knew that it was not public access, Barrow sputtered and replied, “Everyone knows that it was Federal property. ”

Jason Patrick took the stand briefly to explain why he cut a strand of barbed wire fencing. He believed that he had permission from the Puckett family, the bordering property owner.

AUSA Barrow just focused on a video in which Patrick used the term “foreign entity”, which Barrow believed referred to the Federal Government.  Patrick stuck to his statements, which seem to upset Barrow.

As the proceedings continued, Barrows continued to falter. When asked by Judge Brown to list specific exhibits to make a point, Barrows could not name them. He had to ask for more time.

Though the prosecution was not alone in their belief that this bench trial would have been an excersize in going through the motions, Judge Brown surprised everyone.  She seemed to take this trial as seriously as the defendants,  and much more than the prosecution.

Written briefs are due to Judge Brown by noon on Friday, at which point she will deliberate before issuing a written ruling.

 

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