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In a surprise verdict, a jury has found all seven defendants not guilty of charges linked to their 41-day, armed occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. The courtroom quickly descended into chaos.
The decision could "have huge implications on the militia movement as well as the federal government's control of millions of acres of public lands in the West," as NPR's Kirk Siegler reported.
The seven defendants were acquitted of the main charge of conspiring to impede federal employees from doing their jobs. As The Two-Way has reported, some defendants also had been "accused of stealing government property and carrying firearms at the refuge." One of the defendants, Ryan Bundy, was charged with theft of government property, but the jury did not reach a verdict.
Even so, Ammon Bundy's lawyer Marcus Mumford told the judge following the verdict that "his client should be allowed to go free," OPB reported.
Judge Anna Brown "told Mumford that his client was not allowed to leave, but the attorney persisted, raising his voice as he argued with the judge," OPB reported. "The incident ended with Mumford being tackled by several U.S. marshals and Brown clearing the courtroom."
OPB's Amelia Templeton said marshals used a Taser on Mumford during the scuffle.