BURNS, Ore. — The attorney for the leader of an armed group occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge says the man wants those remaining at the refuge to “please stand down” and go home.
Ammon Bundy and seven others were arrested Tuesday. Bundy made an initial appe
arance in federal court in Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday.
Mike Arnold, Bundy’s attorney, read a statement afterward in which Bundy urged those still at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to leave.
In the statement, Bundy asked the federal government to allow the people remaining at the refuge to depart without being prosecuted. Addressing those still holding out, Bundy’s statement said: “Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is now in the courts. Please go home.”
Federal agents have surrounded the refuge where the remnants of Bundy’s group were still refusing to give up on the occupation that began Jan. 2 to protest federal land policies.
Earlier today, a judge ordered Ammon Bundy and six others arrested for occupying a national wildlife refuge to remain in jail until at least Friday.
At Wednesday’s initial court appearance in Portland, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said they are a danger to the community and, with no ties to Oregon, flight risks.
Beckerman set a detention hearing for Friday, giving the defendants a chance to argue for their release pending trial.
Public defender Lisa Hay pressed for the immediate release of her client, Ryan Payne. Hay says Payne has no criminal record, and prosecutors have not alleged he did anything violent.
Prosecutor Geoff Barrow said the risk is that he returns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to “bunker with his co-conspirators.”
The defendants said little Wednesday. The most expressive was Ryan Bundy, who looked at the press and asked “How are you guys?” when he entered the courtroom.
Security was tighter than usual at the federal courthouse in Portland. Armed guards were stationed near the entrance, and cellphones were banned from the packed courtroom.