Ore. refuge occupier seeks release from jail
Judge Anna Brown did not make immediate ruling after a hearing in which she expressed skepticism that Jason Patrick would comply with requirements
By Steven Dubois
PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon refuge occupier Jason Patrick asked to be released from jail Friday until his November sentencing.
Patrick, 45, and three other men were convicted in March for their roles in last year's armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.
Patrick opted to go immediately to jail rather than wear an electronic ankle bracelet for GPS monitoring, a condition for pre-sentence release. After three months behind bars, he had a change of heart and has agreed to wear the device while living with his mother in Washington state if he is released.
U.S. District Judge Anna Brown did not make immediate ruling after a hearing in which she expressed skepticism that Patrick would comply with requirements.
Brown said Patrick chooses the rules he wants to follow, and has a history of being disruptive, disrespectful and tardy.
"This is a man who does not respect the authority of United States courts, or the federal law generally," she said.
The judge sought clear and convincing evidence that Patrick would show up for future court appearance and not pose a danger to society.
Defense attorney Andrew Kohlmetz noted Patrick did nothing violent when granted pretrial release last summer, and attended every court appearance.
He quipped that if disruptive behavior was all that was keeping Patrick in jail, "then Marcus Mumford should be held in custody," a reference to the lawyer for Ammon Bundy who was tackled by U.S. marshals and zapped with a stun gun at the end of the first refuge trial in October.
Patrick faces up to six years in federal prison after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to impede federal officers by use of force, threats or intimidation. Judge Brown found him guilty of misdemeanors in a separate trial.