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Bundy trial: Attorney says occupation was a "legitimate attempt" to take over wildlife refuge

Posted at 3:34 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 19:00:55-04

  

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Opening statements began Tuesday in Portland in the trial of seven people involved in a weeks-long armed standoff at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon

An attorney for one of the leaders of the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon this year says his client did not conspire to impede U.S. government workers.

That's the charge Ammon Bundy faces in a trial that began Tuesday morning for him, his brother Ryan and five other defendants.

Ammon Bundy's lawyer, Marcus Mumford, told jurors during his opening statement, that the 41-day occupation was a legitimate attempt to take possession of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Mumford also told the U.S. District Court jury that only one side of the standoff shot anybody -- a reference to the FBI's fatal shooting of armed protester Robert "LaVoy" Finicum during a traffic stop.

Ryan Bundy, the brother of group leader Ammon Bundy, also gave opening statements. He is acting as his own attorney. He told the court he and others went to Burns to protest the imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fires.

The group's members have said they were protesting federal land use policy and wanted locals to control the area.

Ryan Bundy said he is "in favor of government as long as it's done correctly."

(Story by Associated Press)