Malheur jurors reach consensus on all but 1 charge

Judge Anna J. Brown instructing court on verdict-reading protocl

A courtroom sketch on the first day of jury selection for the Malheur occupation trial, September 7, 2016 (Courtesy: Deborah Marble)
A courtroom sketch on the first day of jury selection for the Malheur occupation trial, September 7, 2016 (Courtesy: Deborah Marble)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jurors in the case of 7 occupiers accused of taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have reached a consensus on all but one charge.

In a note delivered to Judge Anna J. Brown Thursday afternoon, the jury said further deliberations would not help in making a unanimous decision on the final charge.

“We have reached consensus on all but one charge. What is your next instruction? We have exhausted all discussion on the issue and cannot come to a unanimous decision.”

The note was written the same day an alternate juror arrived at the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, allowing deliberations to resume in the trial.

(L-R, top to bottom) Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Jeff Banta, Neil Wampler, Kenneth Medenbach, David Fry and Shawna Cox. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
(L-R, top to bottom) Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Jeff Banta, Neil Wampler, Kenneth Medenbach, David Fry and Shawna Cox. (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

The woman from Central Oregon known as Juror 18 replaces a man who was dismissed after another juror questioned his impartiality.

Judge Brown welcomed the new juror Thursday, and reminded the remaining jurors to disregard past deliberations and start over. She told them not to discuss why the alternate was needed.

The jury was in its 4th day of deliberations when Brown stopped them Wednesday.

The 7 defendants are charged with conspiring to impede federal workers from doing their jobs at the refuge through threats, intimidation or force.