Green Guide

Oregon standoff lawyer pleads not guilty in court scuffle

Posted January 6

— The attorney for a leader of the armed occupation at an Oregon wildlife refuge pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he faced after federal marshals tackled him for refusing to stop arguing with the judge when his client was acquitted last fall.

Marcus Mumford had won the case in October but demanded U.S. District Judge Anna Brown release Ammon Bundy, who helped take over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter to oppose federal land policy.

The judge said Bundy had to stay behind bars because he faced charges in Nevada stemming from a 2014 armed standoff with federal authorities at his father's ranch.

Marshals providing courtroom security surrounded the agitated lawyer before tackling him to the carpet. They pressed a stun gun against his body as he writhed and screamed.

Mumford was charged with two misdemeanors for failing to comply with federal officers and impeding their work. The maximum penalty for each offense is 30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. A trial has been scheduled for April 17.

Mumford did not make a statement Friday. His attorney, Michael Levine, entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Several defense attorneys from the standoff case went to the federal courthouse in Portland to show their support for Mumford. Oregon's federal public defender, Lisa Hay, wore a pin saying, "Free Marcus Mumford."

He helped get seven defendants acquitted of conspiracy to impede federal employees from doing their jobs during the 41-day standoff in Oregon.

Matthew Schindler, who represented Bundy co-defendant Kenneth Medenbach, said officers' allegation that Mumford adopted a boxer's stance during the confrontation is a lie.

"Wouldn't it just be terrific after we got all those people acquitted of impeding federal employees, that Marcus would get convicted of it," Schindler joked. "It's just too perfect."

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