- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Latest on court hearings involving people charged in connection with an armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

A judge has ruled that two brothers accused of leading an armed standoff at a remote Oregon wildlife refuge will remain in jail ahead of their federal trial.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy and others occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for more than a month this winter to protest federal land policy and the imprisonment of two ranchers for starting fires.

Federal Judge Robert Jones has granted pretrial release to many of the men and women indicted on conspiracy charges in the case but decided Tuesday to keep the Bundys behind bars.

Jones says he’s concerned they won’t appear for trial and might attempt to recruit supporters for another occupation.

The 41-day standoff ended Feb. 11 and included the shooting death of occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum by authorities during a traffic stop.

More than two dozen people were indicted on charges of conspiring to impede Interior Department employees from doing their jobs at the refuge. Eight men have pleaded guilty.


11:15 a.m.

A military veteran who the government says took leadership roles in two standoffs involving the Bundy family has pleaded guilty in Oregon and is expected to soon do the same in Nevada.

At the federal courthouse in Portland, Ryan Payne of Anaconda, Montana, admitted Tuesday he conspired with others to prevent Interior Department employees from doing their jobs this winter at the Malheur National Wildfire Refuge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel said prosecutors are recommending his Oregon prison sentence - likely 3 ½ years - run at the same time as whatever punishment he receives for his role in the 2014 standoff with federal agents at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch.

Gabriel says Nevada prosecutors plan to recommend a sentence of 12 years in prison, and Payne’s defense will push for seven years.

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