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Law & Justice

Oregon Suspects Won't Be Released While Standoff Continues

Update: 8:00 a.m. Friday - A federal judge says she will not release any of the people arrested in the standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge while the occupation continues.

The Oregonian reports U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman made the comments Thursday during an initial court appearance in Portland for three of the 11 people arrested. The FBI said four people remained at the site late Thursday.

The hearing came shortly after the group's leader, Ammon Bundy, repeated his call for the holdouts to go home. Bundy was arrested Tuesday in a confrontation with law enforcement that left one of the occupiers dead.

Bundy and several of the other occupiers have another federal court hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.


A detention hearing is scheduled Friday at the federal courthouse in Portland for the arrested militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with Ryan Payne and seven other militants, have been at a jail in Portland since they were arrested earlier this week.

At their initial court appearances, most of the militants’ defense lawyers asked that their clients be released from detention.

But federal prosecutors have countered that the former armed occupiers pose a flight risk and could return to the ongoing occupation at the refuge.

For now, Judge Stacie Beckerman has agreed with prosecutors.

“I’m not going to release anybody from custody, but I’ll entertain it tomorrow,” she said from the bench Thursday.

Many of the arrested militants have little or no criminal history, defense lawyers have argued.