A stunning end to a serial saga. Ammon Bundy and six armed followers who occupied Oregon's Malheur Wildlife Refuge and captivated a national audience for 41 days, acquitted of conspiracy charges. A stinging defeat for federal prosecutors, who failed to prove the self-styled militia members intended to block federal workers from the Fish and Wildlife Service from doing their jobs.
>> This, of course, is going to send shock waves through the whole rotten structure of the federal land so-called ownership.>> Bundy's former attorney, Mike Arnold, explaining the acquittal to local media this way.>> Because the Federal Government charged them with the wrong crime, they overreached. They went for this unreasonable charge of a conspiracy, which requires an intent to impede, when their intent was to protest.
>> And despite displaying weaponry throughout the standoff, the seven defendants were acquitted of illegal gun charges. Five of the seven walk free, Ammon and his brother Ryan remain in custody and may be transferred to Nevada, where they face a separate trial for an armed standoff there. The already dramatic courtroom scene taking a truly bizarre turn, when their attorney, arguing for their release, was wrestled to the ground by US Marshals.
>> Just had a hold of me and then they put me->> They twisted your leg because I saw.>> Yeah they were twisting my legs, they put me to the ground and then they tased me.>> After the verdict, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a statement saying, while she respects the jury's decision, she's disappointed.
And that the occupation of the Refuge did not reflect the Oregon way of respectfully working together to resolve differences.