Anti-Government Leaders of Armed Oregon Standoff Acquitted of Federal Charges

Seven people who were among the armed occupiers of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon earlier this year were acquitted Thursday of charges related to the 41-day standoff.

In this composite with handout images provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, top, left to right, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Waylen Payne, Brian Cavalier, and bottom left to right, Peter Santilli, Joseph Donald OShaughnessy, and Shawna Cox pose for booking photos after being arrested by U.S. Marshalls Jan. 26, 2016 in Oregon.

In this composite image provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, top, left to right, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Waylen Payne, Brian Cavalier, and bottom left to right, Peter Santilli, Joseph Donald OShaughnessy, and Shawna Cox pose for booking photos after being arrested by U.S. Marshalls Jan. 26, 2016 in Oregon.

Ammon Bundy; his brother, Ryan Bundy; and three other people were found not guilty of firearms charges and conspiracy to impede federal workers. Two others who were acquitted were charged only with conspiracy. The federal jury couldn’t reach a verdict on a theft charge against Ryan Bundy.

There was a bit of drama in the courtroom after the decision, CNN affiliate KOIN reported. Ammon Bundy’s attorney, Marcus Mumford, was taken down by US Marshals who reportedly used a stun gun after the lawyer argued with the judge that his client should be set free. Mumford spent a brief time in custody, KOIN reported.

The Bundy brothers and their father, Cliven Bundy, remain in police custody as they still face federal charges in Nevada for a standoff at the Bundy ranch in 2014.

One of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge defendants, Neil Wampler, told reporters: “We came to Oregon … seeking justice, and we found it today.”

Another, Shawna Cox, said the jury’s decision brought her to tears.

“I was thrilled. We all knew we weren’t guilty,” she said, according to KOIN.

Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said he was disappointed.

“This is our system and I stand by it,” he added.

Gov. Kate Brown said she respected the jury’s decision.

“The occupation of the Malheur Refuge by outsiders did not reflect the Oregon way of respectfully working together to resolve differences,” she said.

Ammon Bundy, in front, leader of an armed anti-government militia, returns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon Jan. 5, 2016, following a news conference. The occupation of a wildlife refuge by armed protesters in Oregon reflects a decades-old dispute over land rights in the United States, where local communities have increasingly sought to take back federal land. (Credit: ROB KERR/AFP/Getty Images)

Ammon Bundy, in front, leader of an armed anti-government militia, returns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon, on Jan. 5, 2016. (Credit: ROB KERR/AFP/Getty Images)

Dozens of people occupied part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns on Jan. 2 after gathering outside for a demonstration supporting Dwight and Steven Hammond, father and son ranchers who were convicted of arson, and in defiant protest of federal land policies.

Many of the protesters who took over an unoccupied building on the refuge were armed.

One man was killed during an attempted traffic stop weeks into the occupation. The driver of one vehicle, LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed when he got out and confronted authorities. Police said Finicum was reaching for a gun in his pocket. Prosecutors said the shooting was justified

Ammon Bundy and others were in another vehicle and surrendered to police.

The occupation of part of the federal wildlife refuge ended peacefully Feb. 11 when the last four occupiers surrendered to authorities.

KOIN reported seven more occupiers are scheduled to go on trial in February.