Plains man cleared of charges in Oregon standoff - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Plains man cleared of charges in Oregon standoff

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A Plains man implicated in last year's armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge is found not guilty on federal conspiracy charges, but convicted of property damage as a jury returns a split verdict after more than two days of deliberations.

28-year old Jake Ryan and three other defendants were facing a combination of charges stemming from the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon last winter. Anti-government protesters occupied the refuge for several weeks before finally surrendering. While the standoff ended with no injury to federal officers, Robert ""LaVoy" Finicum was shot and killed by law enforcement following a chase.

On Friday, the jury that had spent much of the week in deliberations found Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn guilty of conspiracy for preventing refuge workers from doing their jobs. But Ryan, and co-defendant Duane Ehmer were acquitted of the conspiracy charge.

However, Ryan and Ehmer were found guilty for damaging public property when they used an excavator to dig a latrine for the camp. Ryan was also found innocent on a firearms charge.

The guilty verdicts are the only convictions connected with the standoff. Last fall a different jury acquitted organizers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and other defendants.

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