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Tag: lavoy finicum

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Charges Against FBI Agent Over Oregon Refuge Standoff

LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed during the standoff at an Oregon Wildlife Refuge. Photo via YouTube.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent charged with repeatedly lying to state and federal investigators about firing two shots at leading Oregon standoff protester Robert “LeVoy” Tinicum’s truck in 2016 will face trial after a judge refused to dismiss any of the criminal counts.

Attorneys for FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita tried to get some of the charges dismissed, arguing the three counts of making a false statement and two counts of obstruction of justice are prejudicial and unnecessarily repetitive, the Oregonian reports

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones dismissed those claims, calling the defense motion premature.

The agent’s attorney, Meghan Ferguson, argued the indictment was an “impermissible five-count pileup” related to one alleged lie that should amount to no more than one charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman, a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, defended the charges, saying Astarita liked to three supervisory FBI agents and in two interviews with Oregon State Police detectives.

“Defendant told different lies at different times to three different FBI supervisors with different roles and responsibilities,” Sussman argued.

FBI Under Investigation After Agents Shot at Wildlife Occupier But Never Reported It

Scene at federal wildlife refuge six weeks ago.

Scene at federal wildlife refuge six weeks ago.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents are under investigation after it was discovered they fired shots at LaVoy Finicum at the federal wildlife refuge and never reported it.

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said the two bullets fired by the FBI did not strike Finicum, who was shot three times by state troopers and killed about six weeks ago, Washington Post reports. 

State police were justified in the fatal shooting, but Nelson said the FBI agents “did not disclose their shots to investigators, nor did they disclose specific actions they took after the shooting.”

The sheriff’s office and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating the FBI’s involvement.

The FBI did not comment.