LOCAL NEWS REPORTS (1997)
Can't wait for me to update this page? Check out the Spokesman-Review's on-line Ruby Ridge page.
Below are brief summaries of articles on Ruby Ridge from several local and regional newspapers. Most newspapers copyright their content (and I really don't want to spend all my time and then some typing in their content), so the summaries and a few brief quotes will have to suffice. For subscription information, just click on the name of the paper. Direct links will be provided for any articles that are on-line; if any of these links break, please drop me a note."
Spokesman-Review, December 17, 1997, on-line article entitled "Weaver takes stand against FBI sniper ", subtitled "Agent returns to Boundary County as accused ". The assassin's attorneys are already trying to demonize the Weavers and their children by pursuing irrelevant lines of questioning, most of which was stopped by the judge. Prosecutor Woodbury is threatening to come back with a first-degree murder charge if the manslaughter charge is dismissed in the preliminary hearing. [Maybe she's coming to her senses? Murder is what it should have been from the beginning!]
Bonners Ferry Herald, December 3, 1997, article entitled "Woodbury waits for feds' next move", subtitled "Controversial attorney joins team for $1; Woodbury likes her chances". In a sentence, "Now, it's 10 against two". Assassin Horiuchi is being defended by six private attorneys [at our expense, of course] and four Justice Dept. attorneys [a disgusting waste of our tax dollars, in view of the fact that Horiuchi keeps taking the 5th and the government has already settled with the Weavers for $3.1 million on his account.] Her manslaughter case is based on her allegation that "he exceeded the scope of his authority" by firing blindly through the door. A third of the article deals with not too interesting details on efforts to keep confidential grand jury transcripts confidential. Horiuchi's attorneys apparently have requested, through discovery, records of agencies "other than the State of Idaho", which prosecutor Woodbury obviously is in no position to provide and is therefore objecting to.
Kootenai Valley Times, November 20, 1997, article entitled "Big guns line up for Horiuchi", subtitled "Pro bono lawyer offers Woodbury help for $1.00 fee". Refers to the pending trial as "a battle reminiscent of the epic David versus Goliath imbroglio". Horiuchi is being represented by 10 attorneys [I thought there were only 6 -- where did the other 4 come from?], including a former Idaho Supreme Court Justice, and "intimidation seems a major part of their strategy" [not surprising considering their "evidence", see Idaho Statesman article of Nov. 19 below]. Reiterates discussions of Yagman already covered in articles below; Woodbury mentions that Yagman has also represented police officers free of charge in cases when he felt they were right. The core of Woodbury & Yagman's case is that Horiuchi acted outside the scope of his authority when he fired into the cabin & murdered a hostage (Vicki Weaver) he was supposed to be protecting. [The core of their case should be first degree murder for obeying illegal orders, but that's probably beating a dead horse at this point.] Horiuchi's attorneys appear to be relying on delays (filing papers late, mailing them to the wrong zip code [echoes of the '93 trial where the U.S. attorneys so soundly fell flat on their faces?) and intimidation.]
Idaho Statesman, November 19, 1997, article entitled "Citing threats, lawyers want trial in Boise", subtitled "Defense team says FBI agent's life is at risk". Horiuchi's attorneys [SIX of them working on YOUR $$$$] want Horiuchi's trial moved to Boise. Prosecutor Woodbury wants the trial moved back to Bonners Ferry. According to Horiuchi's attorneys, "Horiuchi has been threatened by groups upset with the FBI's handling of the Ruby Ridge standoff." [Gee, is that a surprise?] In 1994 a group calling itself the "Florida State Militia" distributed wanted posters featuring Horiuchi. [Bummer!] "More recently, a reward of $25,000 for Special Agent Horiuchi 'dead or alive' has been posted on the internet." [Just breaks my heart -- nothing can compare to the horrors he inflicted on the Weaver family -- let him suffer!] "Meanwhile Horiuchi's lawyers are laying the foundation . . . ." [These are all lies and distortions that were so thoroughly debunked in the 1993 trial. If this is all they can pull of their SIX collective hats, the trial is all but over:]
[What's most amusing is that the judge, who has been assigned to this case and thus must rule on all the B.S. cranked out by SIX attorneys on YOUR dollar, is the same judge who presided over the 1993 trial of Weaver & Harris. When Gerry Spence objected to the impending testimony of one prosecution witness, Judge Lodge commented that he didn't see why it mattered -- most of the prosecution witnesses ending up helping the defense anyway. Judge Lodge took the almost unprecedented action of ordering the prosecution to reimburse part of the defense costs for misconduct by trying very hard not to produce Horiuchi's sketch and other documents in a timely manner. I suspect Judge Lodge will see right through most of this B.S.]
Bonner County Daily Bee, November 14, 1997, editorial on p. 4 entitled "Horiuchi would get fair trial in state court". A California law professor is speculating that Horiuchi's attorneys want to move the case to federal court in part because of the intelligence of the jury that would be assembled: "You may then get a jury that is slightly more sophisticated, more educated, and this would be one of the strategic advantages. Federal jurors may be more attuned to what a federal agent must do." People in a "more urban" area where the federal courts are located would be "at least much more stylish and hip than rural folks . . ." Editorial concludes that "Horiuchi would receive just as fair a trial in a state court as he would in a federal court.
Spokesman-Review, November 14, 1997, on-line article entitled "Harris spared new trial", subtitled "Time runs out for prosecutor to appeal Ruby Ridge ruling".
Spokesman-Review, November 13, 1997, P. B1, article entitled "Prosecutor lands help in FBI sniper case", subtitled "Controversial L.A. lawyer specializes in police brutality cases". [Mostly a repeat of articles already summarized below; I'll just cover the new info.] "He is one of the most successful civil rights attorneys in California, dealing mostly with civil rights cases. He's been called the 'Bad Boy of the Federal Courthouse' and has had a controversial career. In 1989 he was suspended from practice for six months by the State Bar of California after a series of disputes with former clients. In 1994 he also faced a two-year suspension from practicing in Los Angeles federal court for criticizing a district judge and accusing him of anti-Semitism." [Bringing up the possible two-year suspension without revealing the outcome is irresponsible journalism -- according to the Idaho Statesman article of 11/13/97 below, a California appellate court ruled that Yagman comments were protected free speech.] Apparently, according to Boundary County Comissioner Murleen Skeen, Yagman contacted prosecutor Woodbury and offered his services.
[Time will tell -- I'm rooting for the "Bad Boy"!]
Idaho Statesman, November 13, 1997, article entitled "Boundary prosecutor hires help for trial", subtitled "FBI's Horiuchi charged in Ruby Ridge case". More details on the hiring of Stephen Yagman to help prosecute Horiuchi. "Cash strapped" . . . "Boundary County commissioners voted Monday to let Prosecutor Denise Woodbury hire an assistant at a salary of $1 a year, and Woodbury wasted no time in hiring one of the most celebrated in the business." No one -- either Woodbury or Yagman -- is commenting on Yagman's upcoming role. Police brutality, illegal police shooting and other improper police actions have been Yagman's specialty for the past 16 years.
Idaho Statesman, November 12, 1997, article entitled "U.S. court may try marksman in killing", subtitled "FBI sharpshooter faces manslaughter charges in death of Vicki Weaver." Horiuchi has asked to move his case from Boundary County to Boise, claiming that "Boundary County "is so hostile to federal law enforcement that he couldn't get a fair trial. [They're hostile for a darned good reason -- how do you expect them the feel when feds show up and murder their women and children?] Kevin Harris' attorney, David Nevin, recently appeared on a radio program with Senator Arlen Specter, who presided over the Senate's Ruby Ridge hearings in 1996. Senator Specter may hold hearings next year on the Justice Dept.'s discontinuance of its own Ruby Ridge investigation.
Associated Press wire story, November 13, 1997, article entitled "Lawyer for Police Brutality Victims Tapped as Special Prosecutor" (found on-line through CNN's home page/Custom News/Idaho news). Attorney Stephen Yagman has been appointed as special prosecutor to handle the prosecution of Lon Horiuchi for Boundary County. Yagman's law practice has been devoted to "pursuing police brutality cases in federal courts for the past 16 years".
[This is a very positive development. Now I won't worry so much that the Boundary County's inexperienced prosecutor will be trampled by all the sharks the Justice Department is hiring to defend their assassin.]
Kootenai Valley Times, November 6, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Legal artillery aimed at county prosecutor", subtitled "Federal government rallies to protect Horiuchi". Claims that a "great deal of federal muscle is being applied to see that one of the most contentious issues, an FBI sniper's shot that claimed the life of a woman holding an infant, goes unanswered in a state courtroom" despite promises to cooperate with local officials. Janet Reno is considering intervening on Horiuchi's behalf. On Monday, the a local magistrate had issued a warrant for Horiuchi's arrest for failure to appear; in late afternoon a package finally arrived containing his attorneys' reply to the charges, "proclaiming, in short, that the nation's interests far outweighed the demand for justice sought in a small courtroom far away." The U.S. government is apparently hiring a team of six attorneys to represent Horiuchi. The response also claims that Horiuchi is immune from local prosecution. Prosecutor Woodbury is quoted as saying, "By willfully violating his order to protect those people designated as hostages by the FBI and other federal agencies involved, agent Horiuchi's actions did not constitute service to the federal government but were a violation of those orders. He may have been shooting at a legitimate target, according those rules [illegal rules, which should make this a murder case, not a manslaughter case], but he did so in such a way that threatened the people he was there to protect. That negligence is what I am prosecuting."
Bonner County Daily Bee, November 5, 1997, p. 4, letter to the editor. I couldn't say this much better myself:
Shooter's defense is a weak excuse
Horiuchi's defense that he was only "following orders" is exactly the same as that of Eichman and other Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg [a minor correction is in order here: Eichman was not prosecuted at Nuremberg; rather he was kidnapped and brought to justice by the Israelis]. We set a precedent then that the individual is accountable for following illegal orders.
The orders themselves were unconstitutional and illegal under both state and federal law.
The entire chain of command should be tried for conspiracy, attempted first-degree murder of Harris and Weaver and second-degree murder of Vicki Weaver [personally, I'd opt for a first-degree murder charge -- murder in the commission of another crime is normally first-degree murder].
Are federal officials exempt from all state laws while performing illegal actions?
Bonner County Daily Bee, November 4, 1997, P. 1, Article entitled "Sniper's lawyers ask to move case to Boise". Magistrate Quentin Harden [the same judge who dismissed the murder charges against Kevin Harris] issued a $20,000 bench warrant when Lon Horiuchi failed to appear as order, but [unfortunately] it was rescinded when the magistrate was informed belatedly of the Horiuchi's motion to remove the case to federal court. Horiuchi claims he "didn't see anyone standing behind the door" [never mind that after the assassination Horiuchi drew a sketch showing two heads behind the door]. The documents are quoted as saying "Special Agent Horiuchi cannot be prosecuted for a crime under Idaho law for an act he performed as a federal officer." [I wasn't aware that assassination without due process of law is a proper function of federal law enforcement officers.] At this point, no date has been set for a preliminary hearing.
Spokesman-Review, November 1, 1997, p. B1, article entitled "FBI sniper can't be tried, lawyers say", subtitled "Horiuchi's attorneys file papers claiming immunity from prosecution for federal offenses". Horiuchi's attorneys have filed court documents claiming that he cannot be prosecuted by the State of Idaho. As expected, his attorneys have also filed papers to move his case to federal court. The papers assert that he shot at Weaver & Harris because they were about to shoot at a helicopter [a lie that was exposed at the first trial -- there was no helicopter located where it could be shot at the time in question]. The papers are quoted as saying "Horiuchi acted within the course and scope of his authority when he discharged his weapon". [Since when is obeying illegal orders and taking the life of a mother of four children without due process is within the "course and scope of" an FBI agent's authority?]
[The case at this point has been assigned to the same judge who handled the 1993 prosecution of Harris and Weaver, and I surmise he'll well remember Lon Horiuchi, Lon's premature departure for the east coast, and the FBI's failure to turn over his notes -- showing two heads in the window! Judge Lodge took the almost unprecedented step of order part of the defense costs reimbursed for prosecutorial misconduct as a result of the episode.]
Kootenai Valley Times, October 30, 1997, P. 1, article entitled "Prosecution reveals Sam Weaver killer." According to the article, "The evidence proves it was a bullet from Larry Cooper's gun", [Boundary County Sheriff Greg] Sprungl said. "The evidence also shows that the shooter did not have target acquisition [I find it utterly absurd that they can make a claim like that, especially when they won't reveal the evidence!], and backs up the version of the events as told by the U.S. Marshals who survived." [Which version? The marshals have told numerous tales of hundreds of rounds being fired -- not true, of being pinned down on the mountain side -- not true, and of Randy Weaver firing on them from the back of a pickup try -- not true, etc.]
The article continues to relate how in the past Cooper has denied killing Sammy Weaver [the article neglects to mention that in the past Cooper has even claimed that Randy Weaver shot his own son]; now Sprungl claims that the evidence shows that Larry Cooper was the one who shot Sam Weaver yet supports Larry Cooper's version of what happened. [Go figure!] " . . . he [Sprungl] would not reveal the specifics of the evidence."
"Sprungl brought in each of the marshals who survived the shootout and had them re-enact their versions of what happened that day." [This "recollection" years after the fact is almost meaningless -- they've had five years in which to get their stories consistent with one another and with the evidence. At the 1993 trial, the testimony of the one of the marshals in the other three-man team directly supported Harris' version of the events. After the shootings, Cooper and his cronies not only lied about what had transpired by radioing false reports about how they were pinned down & being fired on from the back of a pickup, they also managed to avoid being split up and interviewed individually for 24 hours after the shooting -- a critical lapse in the investigation. They returned to their motel rooms with their firearms and remaining ammunition, forever compromising the investigation.]
Sprungl concludes that "It [the shooting of Sammy Weaver] was obviously a case of self-defense . . .". [Never mind that they had been trespassing on the Weaver property without search warrants, that they had admitted to the grand jury that they had thrown rocks at the cabin to see what it would take to get the dog going, that they were dressed not as officers in uniform but as thugs in ski mask and camouflage, that Kevin Harris was carrying his bolt action .30-06 -- not exactly the gun of choice for an encounter with armed opponents when you have other options available -- Kevin and Sammy were simply carrying their customary hunting guns, that Randy Weaver was carrying a double barrel shotgun, and that during this alleged deliberate attack on the marshals, the marshals own observation camera recorded Vicky Weaver non-chalantly waiting her turn at the outhouse.]
[Obviously, the cover-up continues, whether through ineptitude or simply an overwhelming desire to close the case I have no way of knowing. If Sheriff Sprungl won't reveal the "evidence" that purportedly supports his conclusions, he has no business making such announcements. As I've said repeatedly, only a jury can end this story. Sooner or later, this blue wall of silence will crumble.]
[And while I've got myself going here, what's this nonsense about not having "target acquisition"? Did he miss Sammy Weaver but kill him anyway? Did they put on their ski mask, throw some rocks at the dog, play hide - and - seek - and - run - from - the - dog we - just - threw - rocks - at, shoot the dog, and then engage in a little spray and play -- to the detriment of Sammy Weaver and ultimately to the detriment of the entire household?]
[When my wife read this, she suggested lining them up -- Sprungl and the marshals -- and shooting all of them.]
Spokesman-Review, October 29, 1997, p. B3, article entitled "Reno may take side of FBI sharpshooter", subtitled "Attorney general being urged to declare Horiuchi acted in necessary, proper way". Bylined Ronald J. Ostrow, Los Angeles Times. Reports that Reno is being urged to take such action to help Horiuchi get his cased moved to federal court and to help provide him with a defense. Others are urging Reno to do nothing, or only to help get the case moved to a federal court.
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 25, 1997, article entitled "No charges expected against marshal who shot Sammy Weaver". Starts with "The U.S. marshal who fatally shot 14-year-old Sammy Weaver in the back acted in self-defense, an Idaho law enforcement official said Thursday." [There is no way you'll ever convince me that shooting a wounded 14-year-old boy in the back is self defense. This case is turning into a classic example of the Blue Wall of Silence. The various police officials are lining up behind the chums in the U.S. Marshals Service. This is especially troublesome in view of the degree to which the marshals have impeached themselves through their own words and testimony.] A spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement was quoted as saying "Samuel was actively engaged in the shootout, having chased marshals 600 feet off the Weaver property." [As usual, neglects to mention that in grand jury testimony the marshals admitted provoking the chase by throwing rocks at the dog, and that Harris & the Weavers were carrying hunting weapons because they thought the dog was chasing game. Plenty of evidence has been presented to impeach the marshals account of events; none has impeached the account of Weaver & Harris. Also keep in mind that the U.S. Government paid $3,100,000 to keep these details from being hashed out in a civil trial. Wonder why? And now for my usual statement that only a jury of twelve can bring closure to this . . . . The cover-up continues, but the facade is getting thinner.]
Idaho Statesman (A.P.), October 24, 1997, article entitled "Sheriff reports marshal's bullet killed Randy Weaver's son". Boundary County Sheriff Greg Sprungl says ballistics tests show that the bullet that killed Sammy Weaver was fired by U.S. Marshal Larry Cooper. [Further evidence that the marshals' version of what transpired is not truthful.] Cooper, meanwhile, has been accusing Randy Weaver of shooting his own son. [What would really clear the air is a murder trial for U.S. Marshals Cooper & Roderick -- eventually, there will be justice!]
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 23, 1997, article entitled "Sheriff says Marshal killed Sammy Weaver". An extensive search three years after the firefight between Kevin Harris, Sammy Weaver and the U.S. Marshals has turned up the bullet that killed Sammy Weaver. [As usual, the article neglects to mention that one of the marshals admitted in grand jury testimony that they provoked the chase by throwing rocks at the dog; they further neglect to mention that the marshals, dressed as bandits in ski masks & camouflage, had been trespassing on the Weaver property without search warrants.] Boundary County Sheriff Greg Sprungl is quoted as saying, "It is clear by the ballistic evidence that Sammy Weaver was killed with a bullet fired by the U.S. Marshal Larry Cooper's 9mm Colt [a silenced submachine gun] . . . . It is our opinion that Cooper fired into a brushy area because he was trying to get to his buddy (Degan) [Spray & play? Sure sounds like manslaughter or murder to me. Keep in mind that Degan had just started the firefight by shooting the dog that they'd thrown rocks at.] In 1995 Senate testimony Cooper testified Weaver had shot his own son [shown by the defense at the 1993 trial to have been impossible, unless Weaver had bullets that could curve around ridges and dodge trees]: "Cooper insisted he fired only at Harris and would not have fired blindly at an unidentified target."
[This article has really bugged me for several days. I finally just decided to bite the bullet (pardon the pun) and put it in. I think the "blue wall of silence" is firmly at worked here. The sheriff has basically bought the marshal's story, yet the evidence he uncovered only serves further to IMPEACH Cooper's testimony. Keep in mind that after the initial firefight, the marshals thoroughly impeached themselves by telling some really tall tales with no basis in reality. Only a jury of twelve can put this matter to rest.]
Spokesman-Review , October 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Safety fleeting, tragedy forever" No direct connection to Ruby Ridge except that it further illustrates the incompetence & ineptitude of the Boundary County prosecutor. Some poor guy mistook his hunting partner for an elk at 50 yards and killed him -- clearly a manslaughter case. His first trial ended in a hung jury; prosecutor Denise Woodbury refuses to retry the case. So let's set up another scoreboard for Denise:
It's a sad day for Boundary County, Idaho -- and Denise Woodbury hasn't even completed a quarter of her term in office!
Kootenai Valley Times, October 16, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Horiuchi attorneys respond to local charges." Horiuchi's attorneys have finally responded to his killing ticket; there's apparently no word from or sighting of the Assassin himself. The prosecutor is quoted as saying she doesn't expect to see him in Boundary County. She also expects the case to be moved to a federal court. [Let's hope the case acquires a competent, experienced prosecutor somewhere along the way, too.]
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 15, 1997, article entitled "Hearing date set for FBI sharpshooter: Horuchi [sic] could 'appear' with paper filing". Reiterates that "Although the boy [Sammy Weaver] was shot in the back, Woodbury determined his death was justifiable homicide based on self defense." [I wonder how she'd view it if a bunch of thugs in ski masks & camouflage suits threw rocks at her dog & then shot one of her kids in the back?] If the case is moved to federal court she could ask the Idaho Attorney General's Office to take over, but "she intends to follow through". [How unfortunate, considering her inept performance thus far.]
Bonners Ferry Herald, October 15, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Horiuchi court date set Nov. 3". Prosecutor Woodbury's finally decided to have a Assassin Horiuchi reply to his traffer ticket . . . excuse me, his killing ticket. The appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 3. Assassin Horiuchi is not expected to show up in person. [These elitists treat government-paid killers so nicely!]
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 11, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Former FBI chief sentenced in Ruby Ridge probe". E. Michael Kahoe was sentenced to 18 months in the brig and a $4,000 fine for obstruction of justice for his role in destroying documents to keep the out of the hands of Weaver's and Harris' attorneys.
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 11, 1997, p. 4, article entitled "Weaver wants FBI to admit to cover-up". Weaver wants federal agents to "fess up and start telling the truth . . . . If (Kahoe) is convicted and sentenced for covering something up, what's the cover-up? I already know, but we need them to admit it . . . . It was too revealing, so somebody said 'you better get rid of that thing' . . . . I wish one of these guys would start squealing on a whole bunch of people. It would be nice to have them come out and admit some truth as to what happened."
The Spokesman-Review, October 11, 1997, on-line article entitled "FBI official who destroyed a report criticizing bureau's role at Ruby Ridge given 18-month prison term"
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 8, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Sniper receives charge in Ruby Ridge case". U.S. Government Assassin Lon Horiuchi has finally received his summons [kind of like a traffic ticket for killers?] for taking the life of Vicki Weaver. The case is expected to be moved to federal court. [Go, Denise, go! It's as if she doesn't really want to face the Assassin!]
The Spokesman-Review, October 8, 1997, p. B6, article entitled "High court weighs immunity for prosecutors". The U.S. Supreme Court will use a Seattle case to consider narrowing or eliminating the immunity prosecutors enjoy if they act dishonestly in securing a search warrant. [Not directly related to the Weaver & Harris cases, but anything that increases accountability would be a welcomed improvement!]
Prosecutor Denise Woodbury's Scoreboard as of Oct. 7, 1997
She's compiling quite an impressive record!
Bonner County Daily Bee, October 3, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Harris charges dismissed." Quotes Harris' attorney David Nevin as saying "he was surprised only that the ruling came so soon."
Charges Against Kevin Harris Dismissed by Idaho Magistrate
The Spokesman-Review, October 3, 1997, on-line article entitled "Harris charges dropped".
The Spokesman-Review, October 3, 1997, on-line article entitled "Republic raises toast to `just and fair' decision ".
Associated Press wire story
Reuters wire story
Kootenai Valley Times, October 2, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Prosecutor unveils her version." Includes a "statement of facts gleaned through the extensive investigation that followed the initial shoot-out which began the standoff on Ruby Ridge." Since court documents are public record, not covered by the newspapers copyright, I will include it verbatim. Comments in brackets are my notations.
|"On August 21, 1992, six United
States Marshals were conducting a surveillance mission on
[i.e. they were trespassing -- they had no search
warrants in their possession; an arrest warrant, whether
they had one or not, does not authorize them to conduct a
search] and around the Randall Weaver property,
which is located in Boundary County, Idaho, on Caribou
Ridge, north of the west end of County Road 12. This was
an ongoing mission for the United States Marshals
Service, for they were attempting to safely arrest
Randall Weaver on a warrant. The marshals were doing all
within their power to avoid an armed confrontation with
Randall Weaver or any of his family members [like
their plan to kidnap Sara Weaver during her menstrual
period?], and had for the last 18 months
corresponded with Randall Weaver through his attorney [another
misstatement -- although Weaver had stated a preference
for being represented by a particular attorney, he wasn't
actively communicating with him. The prosecutor is
perpetuating a lie started by the U.S. District Attorney
Ron Howen, who foolishly declined other opportunities to
communicate with Weaver by claiming that he was being
represented by an attorney and that all communications
must go through that attorney.] in the hope that
Randall Weaver would consent to the service of the
warrant without the necessity of a confrontation. On this
date the Marshals were not going to arrest Weaver, but
update and expose the new members of the team to the
layout of the Weaver property for a future plan to arrest
"Early in the morning under the cover of darkness the six member team deployed [neglects to mention that they were dressed as bandits, not as police officers -- dark clothing, face masks, goggles] from a location a safe distance away from the Weaver cabin. At a point in time the team split up into two, three-man teams. One team, led by U.S. Marshal Hunt, went to the area known as the observation position to take up a position from which to observe the Weaver cabin. The second team was led by U.S. Marshal Roderick and included U.S. Marshals Cooper and Degan. This team moved in and about the area, keeping a safe distance away from the cabin area, and maintain radio communication with Hunt's team. Later that morning, Marshal Roderick's team worked their way to the observation position and met with Marshal Hunt's team.
"After some time together, the teams split apart, with U.S. Marshal Roderick's group moving out first and Marshal Hunt's team staying behind to act as observers. As U.S. Marshal Roderick's group was working the tree-line area area down below the Weaver cabin, several hundred feet away from it, the yellow lab dog from the Weaver cabin began to bark and headed toward the Marshal's position. [This is a grossly negligent oversight on the part of the current prosecutor: In the grand jury testimony prior to the first trial, the marshals admitted throwing rocks to see what it would take to arouse the dogs -- they got a lot more than they bargained for!] U.S. Marshal Roderick and others attempted to hid by taking up positions of concealment in and about the trees. The dog, followed by Kevin Harris, headed straight for the Marshals' position, so Marshal Roderick and others retreated into the woods, exposing themselves to the pursuers. [The prosecutor is implying that they were seen by Harris and the Weavers, but I know of no evidence to support that insinuation.] The group ran through the wooded area, periodically stopping to see if they were being pursued. Each time they stopped, they saw the yellow lab dog and Harris, who was armed, pursuing them. In addition, Marshal Roderick saw Samuel Weaver pursuing them, behind Harris. [Again an unsubstantiated insinuation on the part of the prosecutor. They had, as they admitted before a grand jury, thrown rocks to arouse the dog. Harris and Sammy Weaver were carrying their customary hunting rifles and following the dog; Randall Weaver was on a different trail -- a classic deer & elk hunting technique -- carrying a 12-gauge shotgun. None were carrying weapons appropriate for a confrontation with the Marshals. Meanwhile, the Marshal's observation camera recorded Vicki Weaver pacing around waiting her turn in the privy, hardly what one would expect if her family & friend were knowingly heading for a confrontation with the Marshals.]
"The Marshals approached an area referred to as the "Y". Marshal Roderick was the lead person, coming into the "Y" area first, and moving toward the lower fork of the "Y", on the trail. Marshals Cooper and Degan took up positions of concealment off of and southeast of the left fork of the "Y" trail. Prior to Marshal Cooper getting off of the trail, Cooper and the yellow lab dog came into close contact on the trail. While Cooper was keeping the dog at bay, he saw Harris and Samuel Weaver coming towards their position. Cooper identified himself as as a U.S. Marshal by yelling, "Back off -- U.S. Marshal". [There is no evidence that this warning was ever given. If someone stepped out from behind a tree wearing camouflage, a ski mask and a gun, what would a reasonable person thing? The prosecutor seems to have completely forgotten or deliberately chosen to overlook that somewhere around this time, the dog was shot with a suppressed 9 mm. submachine gun.]
"Close to this time, Marshal Roderick saw a man whom he identified as Randall Weaver, in the right fork trail, and Marshal Roderick yelled at Weaver, "Stop -- U.S. Marshal." [The prosecutor neglects to mention that Randall Weaver's response was to utter an expletive, turn around, and head back to the cabin -- hardly the action of someone looking for a confrontation.] Harris turned and fired a single shot at Marshal Degan [not true, see below] which killed Marshal Degan.
"A gun battle ensued in which Marshals Roderick, Cooper and Degan [again not true, see below] in their protection and in protection of the other Marshals. [Time to straighten out a few things: Remember the other three-man team? One of them testified that the first shot heard from from .223's. Harris was carrying a.30-06. The sounds the two calibers make is distinctively different. And Marshal Degan? Medical experts testified that his wound was such that he was unlikely to have been able to fire his gun after he was shot. Yes, his gun was emptied, but it was emptied before he was shot. Marshal Degan was carrying the suppressed 9 mm. used to shoot the dog. Remember the testimony from the other team that the first shot heard was a .223? That was likely Sammy Weaver shooting at Degan after Degan shot his dog. What would you do if a masked gunman shot your dog and pointed his gun at you? Harris' story is the only one consistent with the evidence and the testimony of the member of the other three-man team: Degan (suppressed 9 mm. -- no noise) shoots dog , Sammy (.223) shoots at (but doesn't hit) Degan, Marshals (.223's & suppressed 9 mm.) shoot at Sammy and Harris, Harris (.30-06) returns fire in self-defense killing Degan. Sammy, meanwhile, was shot once in the arm and was then shot in the back as he was running home.] Kevin Harris, in addition to the single shot that killed Marshal Degan, discharged his firearm several more times, including shooting at Marshal Roderick. [What was he supposed to do? Roll over & die?] Samuel Weaver and Randall Weaver discharged their firearms during this battle [There is no evidence whatsoever that Randall Weaver participated in the firefight. In the first trial, the prosecution alleged that this had been the case, but the topography would have required him to shoot terrain-following bullets that could dodge a substantial number of trees in order for him to have participated in the firefight.] , and as a result of that, Samuel Weaver was wounded once and fatally hit a second time.
"On August 30, 1992, Kevin Harris surrendered to federal authorities and was taken into custody.
"At the trial of the charges brought against Kevin Harris by the federal government in the U.S. District Court, Kevin Harris was acquitted."
This prosecutor is so far out to lunch it's almost beyond belief.
The Bonner County Daily Bee, October 1, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Magistrate will rule on Harris case". The article not only reported on the arguments about the meaning of Idaho's statute on double jeopardy, but also reveals that prosecutor Denise Woodbury also tried to suppress the motion to dismiss the charges on that grounds that the magistrate lacked jurisdiction to rule on the matter; Woodbury claimed that only the district court could rule on the motion, and only after the preliminary hearing, for which she has subpoenaed Randy Weaver as a prosecution witness [see article below]. The magistrate determined that "motions based on lack of jurisdiction can be ruled upon at any time" [sure makes sense to me -- how else would you keep an unqualified prosecutor like Denise Woodbury from hijacking your court and putting on her own show on her own schedule?]. The magistrate promised to rule on the motion to dismiss within two weeks.
Bonners Ferry Herald, October 1, 1997, p. 1, articled entitled "Judge hears Harris' motion to dismiss". Pretty much the same as the above article from the Bonner County Daily Bee. Harris' attorney, David Nevin, summarized prosecutor Denise Woodbury's arguments as "It (Woodbury's brief) simply doesn't make any sense. Woodbury argued:
|In a brief she submitted
Tuesday morning, Woodbury stated "when the Idaho
legislature changed the language from
"jurisdiction" to "venue", it did so
to make clear the meaning of that statute that a
conviction in another state, territory or country for a
criminal act which, for example, may have begun in Idaho
and been consummated in such other state, territory or
country, is a bar to prosecution for the same act in
"The existence of venue in both Idaho and the other state, territory, or country is the fact which creates jurisdiction to prosecute a criminal act under the laws of both."
The Bonner County Daily Bee, October 1, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Weaver: Second trial would be a waste". Randy & Sara Weaver attended the hearing on the motion to dismiss the murder charges against Kevin Harris. Weaver noted that "Harris and Horiuchi are being treated differently. It's not right. Mr. Horiuchi should come out and show himself if he doesn't have anything to fear or hide from." As he left, Weaver was subpoenaed as a prosecution witness for Harris' [now cancelled] preliminary hearing on October 21.
The Bonner County Daily Bee, October 1, 1997, p. 3, article entitled "Prosecutor busy with 2 Ruby Ridge cases". Prosecutor Denise Woodbury admits she asked Lon Horiuchi's attorney "not to return service [of Horiuchi's criminal summons] until after today, because I'm just one prosecutor." [Don't you just love how she's treating the U.S. Government assassin with kid gloves?] Says the summons only "requires Horiuchi to notify the court that he is aware of the charge and his rights;" a personal appearance is not required. Woodbury indicates that if Horiuchi's case is moved to a federal court, "I will go anywhere it is held." [That's unfortunate -- please turn this case over to a qualified, experienced criminal prosecutor, Ms. Woodbury!]
The motion to dismiss the murder charges against Kevin Harris, citing Idaho double jeopardy statutes, was heard on Tuesday, September 30. A decision is expected in a couple weeks.
The Spokesman-Review, October 1, 1997, on-line article entitled "Old law's meaning up to judge".
[The prosecutor's understanding of Idaho's double jeopardy statute is at odds with the interpretation established by the courts in 9 other states with similarly worded statutes, according to David Nevin, Kevin Harris' attorney. But I guess one shouldn't be too surprised, considering that this is the same prosecutor who calls shooting a 14-year-old boy in the back "self defense" and assassinating people when they step out of their home mere "manslaughter". I wonder if she even knows where her real felon -- Lon Horiuchi -- is yet?]
Associated Press, via Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 26, 1997. A Federal Appeals Court panel in San Francisco ruled 3-0 to give Kevin Harris' lawsuit against U.S. Marshals Cooper & Roderick, F.B.I. Assassin Horiuchi, and various others a green light, and they didn't mince their words: "A federal Appeals Court in San Francisco excoriated the FBI for the conduct of its agents during the deadly August, 1992, siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, saying the 'shoot to kill' policy agents used was 'a gross deviation from constitutional principles and a wholly unwarranted return to a lawless and arbitrary wild-West school of law enforcement."
"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the special rules that led to the death of the wife of white separatist Randy Weaver and the severe wounding of their friend Kevin Harris 'violated clearly established law and any reasonable law enforcement officer should have been aware of that fact.' Weaver's 14-year-old son and a federal agent had died in an exchange of gunfire at the outset of the siege. The decision paves the way for a $10 million civil rights case filed by Harris to go forward to trial."
See also The Spokesman-Review, September 26, 1997, on-line article entitled "Harris can sue agents, court rules".
Associated Press, via Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 26, 1997. The House of Representatives yesterday passed a measure by a 4:1 margin (340-84) to require the Feds to reimburse citizens for the costs of unwarranted criminal prosecutions; them reimbursements would come of the budgets of federal prosecutors. Of course, President Slick & the Totalitarians in charge of the Justice Department object to the measure and have promised a veto. The measure was part of the FY 1998 spending bill for the Justice Department & other departments. The corresponding bill in the Senate does not yet include such a provision.
|Please contact your Senators and ask them to add such a provision to FY 1998 spending bill for the Department of Justice: Reimburse the costs of unwarranted criminal prosecutions in the federal courts.|
The Spokesman-Review, September 18, 1997, on-line article entitled "Harris claims double jeopardy".
My commentary: There is an old -- 133 years old, to be exact -- Idaho statute that appears to prohibit Harris' trial by the State of Idaho on a charge for which he's already been tried and acquitted by the Federal government. The Spokesman-Review's reporters keep referring to the law as "obscure and untested", but is that really the case? Idaho is the smallest (in population) of the states with such a law and thus the least likely to generate appeals that would "test" the case. On the other hand, most Idaho attorneys can read the statute and the case law that has developed with regard to similar statutes in other jurisdictions, and apply it for themselves as intended and avoid unnecessary and costly appeals. Perhaps Boundary County Prosecutor Denise Woodbury (whom we already know had little, if any, criminal law experience until her election a few months ago -- see Spokesman-Review article 8/22/97) is the first Idaho prosecutor to act blindly without reading and/or understanding the statute?
I'm continuing to get a picture of a prosecutor who is ill-prepared & ill-equipped for the task at hand.
The Spokesman-Review, September 14, 1997, on-line article entitled "Horiuchi expected to cooperate".
Three lines from this article really bug me:
|Woodbury last week said the criminal
file will remain sealed until Horiuchi's lawyer returns a
summons or sets a court date.
She said she doesn't know where Horiuchi lives, but the summons was served on him through the FBI.
He is not expected to appear in court in person, according to his government-paid attorneys
(1) Since when do criminals and their attorneys run the show? Put the accused in shackles, haul him before a judge for a preliminary hearing, and LET THE JUDGE SET THE COURT DATE AND BAIL CONDITIONS JUST AS HE WOULD FOR ANY OTHER COMMON CRIMINAL. The favoritism being shown to this Federally-paid assassin is disgusting.
(2) Good grief, Ms. Prosecutor Woodbury, this guy has has been accused of homicide for almost a month now, he continues (unfortunately) in the employment of the Federal government, and you haven't the slightest idea where he even is?
(3) Any other accused criminal would be forced to appear in court. And on the subject of government-paid attorneys, isn't it so ironic that the U.S. Justice Department is now actively working AGAINST the states in their efforts to apprehend and prosecute criminals (although in this case any effort on Ms. Woodbury's part is obviously minimal)?
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 17, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Lawyer: Dismiss Harris' Charge". David Nevin's [Harris' attorney] motion to dismiss the murder charges is set to be heard on Sept. 30 at 1:30 p.m. Nevin's motion quotes the Idaho Code's definition of double jeopardy: "Conviction or acquittal in another state - When an act charged as a public offense, is within the venue of another state, territory, or country, as well as of this state, a conviction or acquittal thereof in the former is a bar to the prosecution or indictment in this state." Nevin further writes, "At least 40 states now reject dual sovereignty as a matter of state law, nine have done so with language functionally identical to Idaho code never prosecuted. [It's pretty clear to me, Ms. Woodbury!]
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 10, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Woodbury up to challenge", subtitled "Media limelight tough as some search obits to find her relatives". Starts by mentioning that some people have criticized prosecutor Denise Woodbury as "incompetent" [first time I've seen that in print] and "inexperienced". Discusses how she feels her job is defined, her salary, etc. Apparently some journalistic low-lifes have been digging through obituary columns to locate her surviving relatives. She claims, "If I didn't have the new evidence it would be difficult to prosecute" [but see below on delay of discovery -- she's in no hurry to share her alleged new evidence with anyone, especially not with the defense!] and "we want the truth out there and we want closure".
|Not so subtle hint: If you're really interested in providing closure, file first degree murder charges against Lon Horiuchi and Marshals Cooper & Roderick and give them their day in court. Let Cooper & Roderick plead before a jury that shooting a 14-year-old boy in the back constitutes self-defense. Then and only then will there be closure to this case.|
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 10, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Shooter's lawyer makes contact", same info as other articles discussing how summons has been sent to Horiuchi through the F.B.I., etc. [it still irks me that this cold-blooded murder is being dealt with as if it were some sort of traffic ticket or small-claims case!]. One new item of EXTREME IMPORTANCE is that the prosecutor is claiming that they've found the second, fatal bullet that killed Sammy Weaver: "The fatal round was found during a search by Boundary County Sheriff and Idaho Criminal Investigation officials." [If true, this could help to further debunk the shifting tales told by the U.S. Marshals after the first shootout and aid in any eventual prosecution of the Marshals.] And once again the prosecutor reiterates that "[Sammy] Weaver's death was determined to be be justified homicide based on self-defense". [And once again, excuse me Ms. Woodbury, but shooting a fleeing 14-year-old boy in the back constitutes a cowardly act of first-degree murder, not self-defense. Give the U.S. Marshals their day in court and let a jury of 12 rule on it. At the very least, present the evidence -- or better, let David Niven or Gerry Spence present the evidence -- to a grand jury and let the grand jury decide whether or not first-degree murder indictments are warranted.] Article continues by discussing the "Aug. 21 indictments" -- to the best of my knowledge these are not indictments (which would have been returned by a grand jury) but charges filed by the [unqualified and inexperienced] prosecutor.
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 10, 1997, p. 1, article entitled "Prosecutor wants more time for discovery". Prosecutor Denise Woodbury has filed a motion to delay discovery in the Harris case. [Discovery is a legal process where each side requests and is provided with the copies of the other sides evidence, witness lists, etc. Although Ms. Woodbury claims to have this newly-found evidence, she's apparently afraid to have it come under scrutiny by others.]
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 10, 1997, p. 4, letter to the editor entitled "Prosecuting Attorney, officials doing their jobs in Weaver case", letter supportive of the prosecutor, rambles on about how Weaver was a fugitive and Harris & Vicky Weaver were aiding & abetting a fugitive. [Harris was acquitted of the aiding & abetting charge at the first trial, after the charge of aiding & abetting was clarified by the judge during the jury deliberations.] Apparently believes that the dog Striker "attacked" the U.S. Marshals, neglects to mentioned that Art Roderick admitted to throwing rocks at the cabin to provoke the dog! Also neglects to mention that the boys and their toys were running around the mountains in camouflage & ninja suits -- face masks -- not exactly how a reasonable citizen would expect police officers to show up.
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 10, 1997, p. 4, letter to the editor entitled "Woodbury's decision to seek justice, not popularity 'encouraging'". Criticizes Federal investigation and decision not to file Federal charges. Criticizes others critical of recent events and questions if "justice [has] been reduced to a show of hands? Are we now being reduced to the prospect that those coming into our community, wearing a badge, can freely fire lethal weapons into a house full of children and shoot a mother holding her infant daughter in her arms? Or to shoot 12[sic]-year-old children in the back while running home for shelter? For some of our fine county residents, as long as government agents to it 'in the line of duty,' it is apparently perfectly all right to do so." Notes that "this entire matter has been hamstrung by the federal government for just enough time for the Statute of Limitations to eliminate a lot of criminal behavior on the part of federal 'law enforcement' and Justice Department officials." Concludes by asking that "we stop the 'opinion mongering' and support justice, whatever that my [sic] be in this case." [Sorry to disagree, but I feel that the intervention of qualified, experienced criminal law attorneys would contribute much more to the cause of achieving justice in this case!]
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 10, 1997, p. 4, letter to the editor entitled "AG has learned lesson" States "Attorney General Lance has finally learned a lesson. He has learned that he is obligated to provide assistance to local prosecutors upon their request. He is not allowed to take the case over himself . . . . This was not an easy lesson for Mr. Lance to grasp." Claims Lance cost Minidoka County over $45,000 in legal fees when they appealed his takeover of a case [doesn't say who won or lost the appeal]. Further claims that he cost Twin Falls County over $80,000 is legal fees awarded to the defendant's attorney after he lost the case. The writer then makes the assertion that "The next lesson he needs to learn is to be timely." and proceeds to detail how the statute of limitations has expired for Ruby Ridge offenses [This is a non sequitur -- if he's supposed to learn not to intervene as the writer seems to indicate, why would he care about the statute of limitations?] Claims that "About the first of August, Mr. Lance finally had an opportunity to discuss getting together with the local government attorney; calls him "three years late [his time in office] and $125,000 short". [Make up your mind, letter writer. Are you criticizing him because he hasn't intervened ('three years late') or because of the costs of his intervention in other cases ('$125,000 short')? You're trying to put him into a lose-lose situation.]
|My two cents worth: The resources of the Attorney Generals office would be a welcome intervention in this case. The local prosecutor is unqualified and inexperienced and has already failed to charge Horiuchi appropriately; she may well bungle the Horiuchi prosecution, although if she's not up to the task, she probably has a better chance of obtaining a manslaughter conviction than a first-degree murder conviction. No one has missed the statute of limitation for first-degree murder because there is none; first-degree murder charges can be filed against Marshals Roderick & Cooper and Assassin Horiuchi at any time, although double-jeopardy provisions will prevent Horiuchi from being appropriately charged once he manslaughter trial commences. I feel that the major problem in this case is the local prosecutor, and outside intervention is desperately needed.|
Idaho Statesman, September 3, 1997, p. 5B, A.P. article on the expected low costs of the two trials. Prosecutor Denise Woodbury speculates that the two trials will cost Boundary county about $20,000; she expect the trials to take < 2 weeks each [again Ms. Woodbury seems oblivious to the past history -- the first trial lasted from 4/12/93 through 7/8/93, and it was that short only because the defense immediately rested!].
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 3, 1997, contained a letter to the editor entitled "Sheriff's Department started Weaver affair". Starts with a two paragraph analogy that I'm not sure I understand & won't try to summarize. Claims that the local Sheriff "acted irresponsibly and cowardly in requesting the assistance of the U.S. Marshal Service to arrest Randy Weaver . . ." [that's a novel criticism I haven't heard before -- most sources complain that the U.S. Marshal Service was negligent by not asking the Sheriff just to go out & pick him up, thereby saving a few million $ in surveillance, siege & trial costs]. Opposes the second trial for Harris. Thinks Horiuchi should be tried for 1st degree murder.
Bonners Ferry Herald, September 3, 1997, p. 1, on the lighter side, a local musician by the name of Allan MacDonald is working on The Ballad of Ruby Ridge.
The Spokesman-Review, September 3, 1997, on-line article entitled "Cost of Ruby Ridge trials downplayed".
Kootenai Valley Times, August 28, 1997, p. 1: Title is "Woodbury [name of the county prosecutor] decision stuns the nation". Claims "a team of U.S. Marshals were discovered after having re-installed electronic surveillance equipment around the cabin of Randy Weaver." [Neglects to mention that unlike other surveillance missions, they were carrying "special" weapons and had positioned a Medi-Vac helicopter nearby. Also neglects to mention that the U.S. Marshals' team leader, Art Roderick, admitted in Grand Jury testimony that they had thrown rocks to get the dogs attention, so their discovery was no accident. Further neglects to mention that the U.S. Marshals were in possession of neither search nor arrest warrants on that fateful day, so they had no legal business snooping around the Weaver property. And don't forget that they were wearing camouflage suits and ski masks. But I digress . . . . back to the article!] Woodbury claims charges are based on "new evidence not used in the federal case" [Remember all the "evidence" manufactured for the federal case? This ought to be interesting!] Woodbury further claims that in addition to killing U.S. Marshal William Degan, Kevin Harris shot "at U.S. Marshal Arthur Roderick, whose coat was pierced by two bullets". [I don't recall reading anything about their with regard to either the first trial or the Senate hearings. In view of the government's well-demonstrated propensity for manufacturing and "reconstructing" evidence in this case, this smells really fishy.] Woodbury claims that "the death of Sam Weaver, 14, constituted justifiable homicide based on self-defense as he was a participant in the firefight". [Excuse me, Ms. Woodbury, but the six thugs in ski masks did not identify themselves as U.S. Marshals until the fire fight was over.] After mentioning that Harris turned himself in and was released on $10,000 bail, the article continues, "Events that fateful morning were set in motion by Sam Weaver's yellow Lab, Stryker, who detected the six agents . . . ." [Remember, Art Roderick admitted before a grand jury that they threw rocks to get the dog's attention.] The article continues with the same discussion of the double jeopardy issues already covered in the national press. The article concludes with Rep. Helen Chenoweth & Paul Harvey questioning the charges; Paul Harvey suggests that "she is seeking center stage". Several others support Woodbury's actions.
[My two cents worth: One of two people didn't do his research -- either the journalist who wrote the article or the prosecutor who filed the charges. If it's the latter, this should be a mercifully brief trial, if it even gets that far. And I am totally appalled at the failure to mention the simple fact that these "law enforcement officers" were dressed & operating like terrorists. If someone in a ski mask shot my dog and pointed his gun at me, one of us will shortly be departed. Look at what just happened in Phoenix when five men in similar dress botched a bounty pickup. Camouflage suits, ski mask and guns collectively spell G-E-S-T-A-P-O, not A-m-e-r-i-c-a.]
|9/5/97: When I entered the above notes & commentary a couple days ago, I had this feeling that the reporter was reflecting the apparent fact that Prosecutor Woodbury is charging full speed ahead oblivious to evidence presented in the grand jury sessions, the first trial, and the senate hearings. Moreover, I've seen the reporter's By-Line (Mike Weland) cited in a number of writings about Ruby Ridge, and I don't recall anyone complaining about the accuracy or completeness of his reporting. This seemed to be confirmed today, when I found the Spokane Spokesman-Review's on-line Web site and articles. The Spokesman-Review article dated 8/22/97 was subtitled "Inexperienced prosecutor to seek convictions where feds failed", and the article starts with "An inexperienced and nervous Boundary County prosecutor says she can do what federal authorities and millions of dollars couldn't . . . ." But there's really no need for me to quote it -- you can read it on-line.|
Another article on p. 1 concerns the costs of the trials. Prosecutor Woodbury & a county commissioner think they can handle it; some citizens have reservations.
P. 3 contains three letters to the editor opposing Prosecutor Denise Woodbury's actions. One suggests a recall election. We're trying to get in touch with the writer and find out if he's serious; if he is, we'll post contact information on this site's home page. This could be the first "national" recall of a local official.
9/5/97 (Two days later): Earlier today I finally located The Spokesman-Review's on-line paper. See the article entitled "Small-town prosecutor steps into national spotlight ". A recall election in Idaho (in the 70's I co-authored a few editions of the handbooks for Idaho city and county officials) first requires a petition to schedule the recall election, and then you have to find someone to run against and beat the incumbent being recalled. There are only two practicing attorneys in Bonners Ferry, the incumbent prosecutor and the previous prosecutor who lost to the incumbent seven months ago. The previous prosecutor apparently was just going to close out the investigation; the incumbent (at the time of her election) wasn't privy to any of the details of the Ruby Ridge investigations despite the fact that she had been deputy prosecutor for 8.5 years. In view of the charges she's bringing and some of the statements she's made, you have to wonder how much she's privy to even now.
The Spokesman-Review, August 23, 1997, on-line article entitled "Harris out on bail, heads back home ".
The Spokesman-Review, August 23, 1997, on-line article entitled "Chenoweth says Boundary County charges unfair to Harris ".
The Spokesman-Review, August 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Harris surrenders".
The Spokesman-Review, August 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Many Idahoans sick of Ruby Ridge case".
The Spokesman-Review August 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Hometown rallies behind accused killer".
The Spokesman-Review August 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Small-town prosecutor steps into national spotlight ".
The Spokesman-Review, August 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Three former jurors celebrate, commiserate ".
The Spokesman-Review, August 22, 1997, on-line article entitled "Feds defend FBI sniper".
Kootenai Valley Times, August 21, 1997, p. 1: Subject is the end of the Department of Justice investigation and the announcement that there would be no new federal criminal charges. "Idaho Congressman Helen Chenoweth greeted the news with derision, saying she was appalled by the announcement. 'While I am disappointed, I am not surprised that this decision has been rendered by the Clinton Administration,' she said. 'It is typical of this administration to avoid taking responsibility for the actions of their agents'". Larry Craig, one of Idaho's senators was described as "equally disappointed". Most of the article then relates the conclusions of the Justice Department report. Ms. Chenoweth then reiterates her disappointment, referring to the DOJ investigation as "clearly a case of the fox guarding the henhouse".
(This newspaper is REFRESHING. An article on p. 3 discusses the newspapers co-sponsorship of a gun raffle. The only gun stories we seem to get from the local rags here in Minneapolis/St. Paul is "gun control, gun control, rah, rah, rah!". Scotty, beam me back to Idaho!)