"Embarrassed" Idaho refuge occupier tells judge

Posted at 5:53 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 19:53:39-04

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- One of the defendants in the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon earlier this year has apologized for video rants he made that were widely seen during the standoff.

Sean Anderson, 47, told a federal judge Wednesday he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by the videos from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. In one Anderson told supporters if police stopped them on their way to the refuge they should "kill them."

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Anderson spoke at the urging of U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones, who said he wanted to hear directly from the defendant before reviewing a magistrate judge's order calling for Anderson's release before trial.

The judge ruled that Anderson could return to Riggins, Idaho.  Jones urged Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings, who wrote a letter to the court in support of Anderson, to monitor Anderson's release.

The armed occupiers took over the refuge on Jan. 2, demanding that the government turn over the land to locals. Twenty-six were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to impede employees at the wildlife refuge from performing their duties.