- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Jury selection has begun in a trial for four men who joined Ammon Bundy at last winter’s armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon.

The panel of 12 jurors and four alternates is expected to be in place by Thursday, with opening statements to start next week.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports federal prosecutors have hired an outside consultant to help them with the jury-selection process.

It’s a step they didn’t take last fall, when jurors surprisingly acquitted Bundy and six others who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a protest against the federal government.

The defendants now on trial include Duane Ehmer, Jason Patrick, Jake Ryan and Darryl Thorn. All are accused of conspiring to impede Interior Department employees through the use of force, threats or intimidation.

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