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Court Battle Begins in Portland for FBI Agent Accused of Lying About Firing His Weapon

Robert “LeVoy” Tinicum

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

 The court battle began this week between the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland, Ore., and FBI agent Joseph Astarita who is charged with lying about firing his rifle at Robert LaVoy Finicum in the moments before the rancher was killed by state police on a rural Oregon highway.

In opening statements Wednesday, the Washington Post reports, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman told jurors that Astarita’s two shots were covered up by officers on the scene — and that aerial footage captured from two FBI planes will show officers picking up items in the snow near where the victim lay.

Defense attorney Robert Cary suggested to jurors those two shots could have come from Oregon state troopers as well as Astarita’s supervisor. “What does the government have?” Cary asked, noting that there were no other eyewitnesses or ballistic evidence, the Post reported.

Astarita has denied firing his weapon.


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