Ammon Bundy gets probation, no jail time, in 2nd trespassing conviction

BOISE, Idaho — Far-right activist Ammon Bundy has again been convicted of trespassing the Idaho Capitol building.

Bundy was found guilty of one count of trespassing and one count of delaying a law enforcement officer Wednesday after a two-day trial. The jury could not reach agreement on a second count of trespassing.

Judge Kira Dale sentenced Bundy to 20 days in jail, but suspended the jail term instead of one year probation. She also fined Bundy $3,000, the maximum allowed by state law.

The verdict marked Bundy’s second conviction for trespassing at the Statehouse in less than a year. He was also arrested for trespassing last weekend after refusing to leave a local hospital in a child protection case, but has yet to plead guilty in that case.

The first case of trespassing came as part of a protest organized by Bundy and others who were upset about public health restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic. He was arrested Aug. 25, 2020, after refusing to leave a Statehouse auditorium after officials ordered the room vacated. He was also charged with resisting and obstructing officers after police said he went limp and refused to stand up and put his hands behind his back. Officers eventually dragged him out of the Capitol building in a swivel chair.

For these offences, a judge sentenced him to three days in jail – but with credit for the time served, he did no further jail time – and ordered him to perform 48 hours of community service. and pay a fine of $750.

This week’s lawsuit stems from incidents in April 2021, when Bundy was arrested twice in one day for re-entering the Statehouse despite being banned from the building for a year due to his prior trespassing arrest .

Bundy, who has represented himself, chose not to call witnesses or make an opening statement to the jury. But after the verdict was returned, he gave a statement to the judge in which he compared his actions to those of historic civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The judge said the comparison was “erroneous” and “inappropriate”.

Bundy’s only probation requirement is that he commit no new crimes starting Wednesday.

Bundy, who is running as an independent to be Idaho’s next governor in a crowded race, is well known for participating in armed clashes with law enforcement, including at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. in 2016, which resulted in one death. and on federal land near his family’s ranch in Nevada in 2014.

He also earned a reputation as a political agitator in Idaho. A Boise-area hospital was closed for about an hour on Tuesday and diverted incoming patients to other facilities after Bundy called on his supporters to storm the hospital in protest at a child welfare action .

A few dozen protesters lined up outside St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, some holding signs suggesting the facility was part of a ‘medical kidnapping’ and others speculating whether they could get inside via underground tunnels.

The protest was about a child protection action involving a local family active in the far-right people’s rights group launched by Bundy.

The 10-month-old was temporarily removed from family custody last Friday after authorities determined the baby was ‘severely malnourished’ and at risk of injury or death, according to a statement from Meridian City Police. near Boise.

The baby’s parents had refused to let officers check on the child’s well-being after the family canceled a medical appointment, the police statement said. The child protection actions are sealed, but relatives of the family said a hearing in the case was underway on Wednesday.

–The Associated Press

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