A federal jury has convicted occupiers Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn on felony conspiracy charges for their roles in last year’s armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Defendants Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan were acquitted of conspiracy, but convicted on lesser charges.
Patrick, Thorn, Ehmer and Ryan were considered less prominent players in last year’s 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a remote part of Eastern Oregon’s high desert. The armed protest began Jan. 2, 2016, and ended when the final four occupiers surrendered to the FBI on Feb. 11 during a dramatic conclusion that spanned several hours and was broadcast live on the internet.
The verdict in this second trial comes after three weeks of testimony and more than two days of deliberations.
All four were charged with conspiracy to impede federal employees through force, threats and intimidation — the same charge the occupation’s leaders, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were acquitted of during another federal trial last fall.
Ryan, Thorn and Patrick also were charged with carrying a firearm in a federal facility. Ryan and Ehmer were charged with depredation of government property
The jury delivered the following verdict:
• Jason Patrick guilty of conspiracy; not guilty of carrying a firearm in a federal facility
• Darryl Thorn guilty of conspiracy; guilty of carrying a firearm in a federal facility
• Jake Ryan not guilty of conspiracy; not guilty of carrying a firearm in a federal facility; guilty of depredation of government property
• Duane Ehmer not guilty of conspiracy; guilty of depredation of government property
The verdicts mark a stark contrast to last year’s trial, when a different jury acquitted seven occupiers on all counts.
The complete story is on the Oregon Public Broadcasting website.