LOCAL NEWS REPORTS (1998)
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 were provided for articles that were on-line.
Coeur d'Alene Press (Sunday edition of the Bonner County Daily Bee), March 22, 1998, letter to the editor entitled "Ruby Ridge: Feds Overstepped Bounds" (this is copied verbatim; after the third sic I stopped noting the grammatical problems):
"In reference to the Ruby Ridge article about FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi: He plead [sic] innocent?
"Quote 'The federal government contends the sharpshooter was acting in the line of duty when he fired and was protected by Supremacy [sic] clause of the U.S. Constitution, in that he was working under the scope of his job.'
"Where does it say killing the wife of a man being charged with illegal firearms is OK? Where does it say to shoot a 14-year-old boy's dog? Where does it say that boy should not react to something like that happening on his own property? Where does it say [sic] shoot the boy also. It doesn't sound to me like the federal government is able to translate the U.S. Constitution any longer.
"If the federal government and Horiuchi's attorneys think that the American public believes that, they have another thing coming. If they think that anyone believes that a sharpshooter who was aiming at Kevin Harris hit Vicki Weaver between the eyes by accident, they need to rethink the intelligence of the American public. Now as I understand, according to what the attorney of Horiuchi said, 'He was sent by the FBI with no knowledge of what was happening.' He didn't know about the boy in the shed. Now how could they not know they shot the boy? Do they know they shot the dog? Did they know who Weaver was? Were they told to shoot everybody, dog included?
"I believe the Constitution was written to protect us from this kind of leadership. Who has the supremacy mentality now?"
The Idaho Statesman, March 16, 1998, editorial entitled "Failure to sanction government for Ruby Ridge cost us in Waco".
"Ruby Ridge was a grim dress rehearsal for the Waco tragedy. Many of the same excesses seen at Waco, Texas, were previewed in Idaho.
"At Ruby ridge, a heat source outside of the cabin proper was identified as a methamphetamine lab. It was their doghouse. In Waco, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms alleged that David Koresh was manufacturing methamphetamines. Actually, the former property holder, George Roden, had built the lab. Koresh destroyed it, turning equipment over to the sheriff five years before the BATF raid.
"Allegations of drug trafficking were made so federal agencies could call on military support without having to pay for the multimillion dollar expense.
"In both cases, the assistant U.S. attorneys may have promoted confrontation, fostering constitutional violations.
"In Ruby Ridge, the assistant U.S. attorneys knew that Randy Weaver had been informed of a court date of March 20, 1991, and scheduled for a Feb. 20 court date, yet issued a bench warrant for Weaver's arrest on failure to appear. "Further, the attorneys dictated that any resolution of the charge had to include a plea bargain agreement -- insisting Weaver waive his right to a jury trial by pleading guilty to a charge he was later acquitted of.
"According to the BATF, the assistant U.S. attorneys insisted that the Waco warrant be served 'dynamically', with a violent break-in at the residence. Due to the BATF's lawless behavior, the Branch Davidians were exonerated of all charges for which the judge allowed self-defense as a basis for their actions. Jurors later regretted not acquitting on all counts on the same grounds.
"Federal agents considered abusing the children of barricading adults to be a legitimate means of coercing parental surrender.
"When Congress asked whether it was the FBI's intention to deliver chemical agents into the cabin using armored personnel carriers, Larry Potts, who supervised Ruby Ridge, refused to 'confirm or deny' that a gas attack was part of the plan. However, Potts was Washington supervisor during the Waco fiasco where tanks did insert gas into a residence.
. . . .
"If there is one deficiency displayed by Idahoans in the Ruby Ridge affair, it is seeing this issue as ideology rather than civil principle. We excused federal misconduct at Ruby Ridge because the victims were racists and in Waco because they were cultists. But these travesties are about a lack of regard for civil rights and the mindset that federal agents are above the law. Lon Horiuchi's attorneys have made this argument in court. The failure to rectify the excesses of Ruby Ridge with timely investigation and appropriate discipline led to the Waco holocaust . . . ."
The Idaho Statesman, March 14, 1998, article entitled "FBI sharpshooter takes verbal lashing".
"FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday and heard a county prosecutor portray him as a killer and his FBI bosses as tyrannical outlaws . . . . The government marksman shook his head almost imperceptibly as a free-lance prosecutor hired by Boundary County described the events of Aug. 22, 1992, . . . . Stephen Yagman, the police-brutality lawyer hired by Boundary County to lead the prosecution, portrayed the federal government as 'King John' and the FBI as the 'Sheriff of Nottingham' invading Idaho and tormenting its citizens . . . . That Horiuchi was surrounded by FBI bodyguards shows how unusual this case has become. The Department of Justice normally prosecutes federal criminal cases, but here it is helping with the defense and providing agents to safeguard the defendant. Horiuchi's attorneys said extremists put a bounty on his life [bummer . . . breaks my heart]. Yagman said Horiuchi should count his blessings he's not on trial for murder. 'He was shown grace, and he should accept that grace and now throw it back at the state of Idaho, which showed him mercy that he did not show Vicki Weaver. 'My personal opinion is that Mr. Horiuchi should be charged with first- or second-degree murder,' . . . . 'He intended to kill someone. I would have also charged higher-ups in the (FBI) with first- or second-degree murder for changing the rules of engagement.'"
Horiuchi's attorney Patricia Maher called Yagman's arguments "outrageous" and presented the usual mumbo-jumbo about how Horiuchi was just doing his job killing people [neglecting, of course, to mention that the assassination and attempted assassinations were in clear violation of due process, the U.S. Constitution and the FBI's standard operating procedures. Oh well, we can't admit to the whole story, can we Ms. Maher?]
Spokesman-Review, March 14, 1998, on-line article entitled "FBI sharpshooter makes bid for immunity", subtitled "Key player in Ruby Ridge saga says Idaho can't prosecute him for killing Vicki Weaver during siege"
The Idaho Statesman, March 8, 1998, letter to the editor entitled "Hold trial in Idaho".
"I am writing in response to the front page story in the March 3 Statesman regarding the Lon Horiuchi trial. As I read it, the feds don't want Horiuchi to come to trial because that might make their shooters in future incidents think twice before shooting. The is exactly the reason we citizens want the trial.
"It was also interesting to note in the same article that they think that citizens of Idaho wouldn't be able to give Horiuchi a fair trial. That really shows how they feel about us and why they think it's OK to shoot a few of us now and then."
The Idaho Statesman, March 3, 1998, article entitled "Ex-officials: Horiuchi shouldn't face trial".
"Four former U.S. attorneys general [William Barr, Griffin Bell, Benjamin Civiletti and Richard Thornburgh] and a former FBI director [William Webster] are urging a judge to throw out manslaughter charges against the FBI sharpshooter who killed Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge.
"If Lon Horiuchi stands trial, the five men say, federal agents forever may be second-guessed in battling terrorists and protecting presidents from harm [Only problem here is that we aren't dealing with terrorists or endangered presidents. Unscrupulous federal agents went out of their way to entrap Randy Weaver; an unscrupulous U.S. attorney rebuffed opportunities to settle case peacefully; a team of U.S. Marshal hit men dressed in camouflage & ski masks appeared, threw rocks to incite the dog, and then shot the dog and 14-year-old Sammy Weaver; and the next day Lon Horiuchi topped it all off by assassinating Vicki Weaver and attempting to assassinate Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris. For the sake of the rest of us, these morons need to be second-guessed!]
"Permitting state prosecution of (federal agents) will severely undermine the ability of future attorneys general FBI directors to carry out their responsibility for enforcing the federal criminal laws," attorneys for the five wrote. [Undermine? Hardly. But it will surely help to check & limit the ambitions of overzealous, unrestrained federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents and keep them in the proper place, and we will all benefit from that!]
. . .
"'It is impossible to imagine a more chilling circumstance than' the charges against Horiuchi, which would 'severely undermine, if not cripple, the ability of future attorneys general to rely on such specialized units in moments of crisis such as hostage taking and terrorist acts', the letter says. [Unfortunately, as events at both Ruby Ridge and Waco have shown, if left to their own devices federal officials will use these special forces to cover up and obliterate their own screwups in non-terrorist situations.]
. . .
"[Boundary County Prosecutor Denise] Woodbury said the only reason Idaho is prosecuting the case is because the Department of Justice refuses to seriously examine its performance at Ruby Ridge. She said she wouldn't be in court if the federal government did its job.
"In their court motions, Horiuchi's attorneys say, "The federal government in no way abdicated it responsibility to scrutinize the conduct of its officers in this matter. [Their memories are so conveniently short -- only a few months ago, an FBI official was sent to prison for destroying the results of their initial investigation into Ruby Ridge. If destroying their own internal -- and apparently very damaging -- investigative results doesn't constitute an abdication of their responsibility, I'd like to sell these self-serving idiots my share of the Brooklyn Bridge. After all, I own it free and clear.] The fact that the state is dissatisfied with the outcome does not entitle it to prosecute Special Agent Horiuchi. [It must not require much in the brains department to be a lawyer these days. State and federal prosecutors routinely pursue cases when other overlapping jurisdictions drop the ball. Boundary County generously waited five years for the feds to do their job; they finally had to take care of things themselves.]"
Spokesman-Review, March 3, 1998, on-line article entitled "FBI sharpshooter's trial vacated ", subtitled "Judge has yet to set new trial date for involuntary manslaughter charge"
Bonner County Daily Bee, February 24, 1998, article entitled "Court lets stand lawsuit against federal agents".
"The [U.S. Supreme Court] justices, without comment, rejected an appeal filed on behalf of nine FBI and U.S. Marshal employees being sued by Kevin Harris, who was wounded." The agents were claiming "qualified immunity -- a legal shield for those government officials who acted in a good faith belief that they were not acting illegally -- and sought to have the lawsuit dismissed."
"We have resolved what we'll have for breakfast," he [David Nevin, Harris' attorney] said. "We won't know the results until we go to bed tonight."
Coeur d'Alene Press (Sunday edition of the Bonner County Daily Bee), February 22, 1998, letter to the editor entitled "Weaver: Govt. keeps people ignorant of truth".
From the "You can't believe everything you read" Department. This letter was so full of B.S. & false statements.
The letter writer started by stating "I just cannot understand . . . how people who are supposed to be well educated can comment on someone or something without first knowing the truth of the entire story of what they are talking or commenting about."
Then he claimed that "Randy [Weaver] served honorable [sic] in Vietman [oops . . . Randy never made it to Vietnam] as a Delta Force [oops . . . wasn't Delta Force organized by several years after Vietnam?] . . . ."
Well, take it with a grain of salt .
Spokesman-Review, February 19, 1998, on-line article entitled "High court rejects appeal by Ruby Ridge lawmen", subtitled "Kevin Harris filed civil suit against agents for $10 million"
Spokesman-Review, February 19, 1998, on-line article entitled "Horiuchi can and should get a fair trial in Idaho".
"The federal government must have contempt for Idaho. First, U.S. marshals blunder into a shootout that leaves a kid, his dog and one of their own dead on Ruby Ridge. Then, FBI not-so-sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi blows away Vicky Weaver."
[An excellent editorial. I couldn't have said it any better!]
The Spokesman-Review, February 15, 1998, article entitled "Horiuchi should be tried in Idaho, prosecutors say".
"They [Boundary County prosecutors] discount claims by marksman Lon Horiuchi's attorneys, who said his involuntary manslaughter trial should be dismissed because he was on duty at the time Vicki Weaver died at her cabin door.
"The agency argues he was protected by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution so he cannot be subject to state criminal prosecution for actions in the line of duty.
"They also accused the U.S. Justice Department of shirking its duty and covering up for one of its own by refusing to prosecute him."
Coeur d'Alene Press (Sunday edition of the Bonner County Daily Bee), February 15, 1998, article entitled "Prosecutors say sharpshooter should be tried in Idaho".
Horiuchi's attorneys have filed motions to have to charges dismissed and, if that fails, to move the trial outside Idaho.
Wrote Boundary County Prosecutor Denise Woodbury, "The very strong interest of the people of the state of Idaho in sitting in judgment on a crime committed by a federal government officer who intruded into their state should not be diminished by a defendant who killed an Idahoan, committed a crime in Idaho, and who, like the state of Idaho, must have a jury of his peers."
"An impartial jury was seated in 1993 for the Ruby Ridge case against Randy Weaver and his friend Kevin Harris, and there is no reason to think a second jury could not be found for the man who killed Vicki Weaver and wounded Harris."
The Idaho Statesman, February 14, 1998, article entitled "Prosecutors blast attempts to end or move sniper's trial".
"If Denver is big enough for two Oklahoma City bombing trials, Idaho is big enough for Ruby Ridge II, prosecutors say."
"[Boundary County Prosecutor Denise] Woodbury said picking a second Ruby Ridge jury in Idaho wouldn't be more difficult than picking a jury to try convicted "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski in Sacramento, where one person was killed by a bomb, or to pick two juries in Denver for the Oklahoma City bombing.
"If Boise's too small for Ruby Ridge II, prosecutors suggested moving the federal trial to Coeur d'Alene."
Kootenai Valley Times, February 12, 1998, article entitled "Horiuchi defenders seek dismissal, change of venue". Horiuchi's attorneys are asking that the manslaughter charges be dismissed. In case that fails, they are claiming that "a fair trial would be impossible" in Idaho and are asking that the cased be moved elsewhere. The attorneys' motion "contends that because Horiuchi was acting in his capacity as a federal officer, he is exempt from state prosecution by the Constitutional supremacy clause, and that trying him on the state manslaughter charge would affect the performance of every federal law enforcement officer called upon to react during a life or death situation." [I hope so; Horiuchi's successful prosecution and conviction should make federal agents think twice the next time they entrap some poor guy and then take it upon themselves to set aside the Constitution and due process and shoot the guy, his wife, his son, his friend and his dog.] "They also contend that the perceived anti-government climate in Idaho has set their client up as a symbol in what they call a 'David and Goliath, us against the government' attitude."
Bonner County Daily Bee, February 10, 1998, article entitled "Feds want Horiuchi's manslaughter charge dropped", subtitled "Argue shooter can't be held responsible".
"'It is imperative that federal officials be protected from state prosecution in such circumstances because without the protection ensured by the Supremacy Clause, rigorous enforcement of federal law [oh . . . is that what they call wiping out a family?] would be would be severely chilled to the detriment of the general public good', the [U.S. Justice Department] petition said. [Please let me help adjust the thermostat -- if Ruby Ridge is to be indicative of federal law enforcement, it does indeed need to be chilled -- preferably to Antarctic conditions.]
"[Boundary County Prosecutor Denise] Woodbury rejects the Justice Department premise that the case should be moved from Idaho because of media attention. 'Just look at the (Internet). It's being picked up all over', he [Boundary County spokesman Mike Weland] said.
"The Justice Department contends . . . 'Consequently, there was substantial reason to fear at the time that Weaver and Harris would sneak out of the cabin and use their superior knowledge of the surrounding terrain to ambush the HRT members in the impending darkness," the break said.'
"Citing Woodbury's charge that Horiuchi fired 'in perilous and chaotic circumstances at an armed and fleeing murder suspect from 200 yards' to support the involuntary manslaughter charge, the government argued that kind of action is exactly the type of conducted protected from state prosecution."
Spokesman-Review, February 10, 1998, on-line article entitled "Feds seek dismissal of charge against FBI sharpshooter", subtitled "Agent accused of manslaughter in death of Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge"
Spokesman-Review, February 10, 1998, on-line article entitled "Horiuchi seeks change of venue"
Spokesman-Review, January 30, 1998, on-line article entitled "Weaver pens sad saga of Ruby Ridge".
Idaho Statesman, January 14, 1998, article reprinted from USA Today entitled "Ruby Ridge becomes federal-state battle", subtitled "As FBI sniper faces Idaho charge, experts say U.S. likely to win".
Lon Horiuchi is the first agent in the FBI's 89-year history to face state manslaughter charges for an on-the-job action. One of his defense attorneys, Patricia Maher, indicated that they will move to dismiss the charges based on a supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution, which protects federal officers from state prosecution for acts that occur as part of officers' official duties [Only one big problem here, Miss Lawyerette: Shooting a mother holding an infant isn't an official duty of an FBI agent by any stretch of the imagination. Horiuchi's defense that a helicopter was endangered was debunked in the 1993 trials and will likely be debunked again, if necessary. Testimony & flight records at the 1993 trials showed that the helicopter wasn't in the vicinity at the time of the shootings. And for a marksman who is supposed to be able to hit a dime at 200 yards, that was pretty p*ss p**r sloppy shooting -- both assassination victims lived, and Vicky Weaver was murdered.]
The article quotes a couple big shot East Coast lawyers (a former chairman of the criminal justice section of the American Bar Association and a New York University law professor) as saying that the lawyers are only engaging in rhetoric and Horiuchi will get off.
"The supremacy clause is the result of an 1890 Supreme Court ruling that said a federal marshal who was charged with murder in California could not be charged by the state because the act occurred in the performance of his federal duties. Marshal David Neagle killed a wealthy Californian in 1890 when the man attacked Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field." [Maybe we mere mortals with common sense can help make a distinction here: In 1890, Marshall Neagle killed a criminal attacking a Supreme Court justice; in 1992, cowardly assassin Lon Horiuchi tried (in clear violation of FBI policies, Federal law, and the U.S. Constitution) without warning, without demand for surrender, and without due process of law, to assassinate two men retreating into their dwelling and instead took the life of an innocent woman holding her infant child. If the latter action constitutes the performance of ones official duties, we are all truly endangered.]
Spokesman-Review, January 13, 1998, article entitled "Trial of FBI sniper moved to federal court", subtitled "Horiuchi will claim immunity". Mostly same material as other articles.
Judge Lodge "delayed a decision on whether the jury will come from southern Idaho or North Idaho.
"Stephen Wagman, a Venice, Calif., attorney who's helping [Boundary County Prosecutor] Woodbury with the case, said Horiuchi used excessive force, so he wasn't carrying out his duties when he fired the fatal shot. It cannot be objectively reasonable for any human being to fire through a door without knowing who is behind the door," Wagman said. "It's just not reasonable".
Horiuchi never looked around to the nearly full courtroom.
Idaho Statesman, January 13, 1998, article entitled "Ruby Ridge trial moves to U.S. court in Boise", subtitled "FBI sharpshooter faces charges in 1992 slaying of Randy Weaver's wife". In a hearing this morning, Judge Edward Lodge moved the case from state court to federal court. Horiuchi was arraigned at 1 p.m., and trial was set for March 10. Horiuchi's attorneys argued he should not face charges because he was simply acting on orders [so were the Nazis tried & executed at Nuremberg] as a federal agent. Deputy prosecutor Yagman said, "It defies my ability to perceive things credibly that any person -- especially a highly trained FBI agent -- could have had a good thought in his mind when he fired through the door."
According to Idaho lawyer Chuck Peterson, who was part of Weaver's defense team at the 1993 trial, "WE expect federal officers to follow state law when they come to this state. If not, it says federal agents can kill our children and wives and hide behind immunity. That's a bit frightening for all of us."
Horiuchi was released on his own recognizance.
Bonner County Daily Bee, January 8, 1998, article entitled "Judge orders FBI sniper to stand trial in Ruby Ridge case". Magistrate Quentin Hardin ruled that there is sufficient evidence to bind over Lon Horiuchi for trial on manslaughter charges and scheduled a January 13 arraignment before Judge James Michaud. Most of the article just summarize the events from 1992 to present.
Bonner County Daily Bee, January 8, 1998, article entitled "Weaver welcomes trial for FBI agent". Article reports Randy Weaver is "real happy about" the recent developments. Weaver has no strong preference as to whether the trial is held in state or federal court. A trial in state court in Bonners Ferry would be more convenient for the Weavers, but he also said, "It would be kind of fun to see Judge Lodge [who presided over his 1993 trial] again, too . . . I think he's a fair man and has a lot of common sense. he knows the story and can probably make things run real smooth."
The article continues [not quoting Weaver, just the article], "During the Weaver/Harris trial, Lodge noted most federal witnesses helped Weaver's case. At one point, when potentially exonerating evidence [including Horiuchi's sketch showing two heads behind the door] arrived by fourth-class mail late in the trial, Lodge fined the FBI for obstructing justice."
The article then resumes quoting Weaver, "He didn't look at me once when I was in court before and he still can't do it. He has yet to stare me down or look at me face-to-face, eye-to-eye . . . It's not about our political or religious beliefs . . . It's about the law. We broke the law and paid the price for it -- maybe even worse than most people do . . . Horiuchi has yet to pay for the laws he broke. I want to see him held accountable."
Idaho Statesman, January 8, 1998, article entitled "Ruby Ridge agent faces state trial", subtitled "FBI sharpshooter seeks transfer to federal court". On January 7 an Idaho judge ordered Lon Horiuchi to stand trial for the killing of Vicki Weaver. Magistrate Quentin Hardin ruled that there is enough evidence to hold the agent for trial on manslaughter charges. The order was brief -- he did not elaborate on his reasoning.
Bonner County Daily Bee, January 6, 1998, article entitled "Horiuchi wants charge dropped'. On Dec. 31, Horiuchi's attorneys filed a motion asking the Idaho District Court judge to dismiss the manslaughter charge against Horiuchi, claiming that "the state failed to show Horiuchi's actions on Aug. 22, 1992, when he shot and killed Vicki Weaver, constituted a 'gross deviation from the standard of care' when he pulled the trigger". [Uh, Mr. Lawyer, sir, I think you've got things backwards. In this country, we arrest people and give them a fair trial, and then and only then, if they're found guilty, do we kill them. Your beloved assassin Horiuchi killed Vicki Weaver and wounded two other people before they had even been presented with a demand to surrender, and when they were presenting no immediate threat to anyone, both points clearly in violation of the FBI's operating policies.]
"'Mr. Horiuchi testified that in taking the shot at issue here, he used the tracking method, to aim at Kevin Harris. As a (hostage rescue team) member, Mr. Horiuchi had been qualified and trained to use that shooting method with moving targets. Consistent with that method, he concentrated on the mildot, which he placed on the moving target, Kevin Harris, not on the door.' Horiuchi shot at Harris and hit Harris, Hoffinger wrote. 'He never saw Vickie Weaver ..." [Oh, don't you just love these lies and distortions? Take yet another look at HORIUCHI'S OWN DRAWING SHOWING TWO HEADS BEHIND THE DOOR.]
[Since the article was printed, a local magistrate has ruled that there is enough evidence to go trial.]
Kootenai Valley Times, December 18, 1997, article entitled "Judge not ready to rule on trial for Horiuchi", subtitled "Weaver family center of attention with Sarah Weaver taking the stand under fire from the defense". Contains a lot of the same material as the two articles below, so I'll focus on the highlights.
"Saying that he [Judge Quentin Harden] had no doubt that Horiuchi, a sharpshooter working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had killed Vicki Weaver, he said that Horiuchi had no intent to kill her. 'The issue is, was it (the shooting) done in a careless or reckless manner . . . must a breach of duty be more than ordinary negligence,' Harden instructed attorneys for prosecution and defense to file Memoranda of Authority, citing case law similar to the case in question."
". . . said defense attorney Hoffinger, 'The standards of care must be different for a medic in wartime than for a plastic surgeon working in Beverly Hills [I find that a rather disgusting metaphor -- real medics don't kill U.S. citizens],'he said, 'We're not talking about shooting into a crowd.'
"'Yes, your honor, it is like shooting into a crowd,' retorted Woodbury, taking advantage of the prosecution's opportunity to respond. 'There were minor children, a baby, a 16-year-old girl, a mother, father and Kevin Harris, all of whom ran across that porch and into the hour (where Horiuchi shot).' she said. 'They did have rules of engagement, but only two shots were fired. Long Horiuchi's the one who fired those two shots.'"
"Hoffinger devoted much of his time questioning Sarah Weaver to try to establish the anti-government sentiment in the Weaver household just prior to the shooting. His rapid-fire attempts to establish a sympathy for Nazis, swastikas and the term ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) were thwarted by Weaver's angry, terse retorts. When asked to confirm, for instance, that she had marked swastikas on her calendar, she said, 'Is is illegal to use it?' 'Have you used it, yes or no?' he persisted, and she said she had. Asked to confirm that she and her mother both were "crack shots, better even than your father . . . and your sister, Rachel, was taught to shoot young' [Just keep it up Hoffinger -- with questioning and an attitude like that that, you'll fall flat on your face in front of any Idaho jury in any court -- state or federal -- and that's just what most of us would like to see you do.]," Weaver said "Define young."
"Hoffinger wanted [Sarah] Weaver to say that she knew her father had armor-piercing ammunition in the house . . ." [Whoopee, ding, Hoffinger, go back to Washington, D.C., where you belong. As a teenager in northern Idaho I used to buy & shoot armor-piercing ammunition all the time. Many millions of round became surplus when our military switched from .30-06 to the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. A store named Tri-State on the outskirts of Moscow, Idaho, used to put it out by the bucket for 10 cents per round; the ones with the black tips were armor-piercing. Better yet, stick around for a while -- at the rate you're going, you'll do a great job for the prosecution.]
"Hoffinger asked if she was aware there was at least 14 guns in the house [Keep it up, City Slicker, that's a paltry "arsenal" by Idaho standards, especially for a household with 5 or 6 shooters] and 20,000 rounds found in the house [Have you read our Constitution lately, City Slicker? It has a second amendment that, by some strange coincidence, comes right after the first amendment. It's no more illegal to have 20,000 rounds of ammunition than it is to have 20,000 books or newspapers. That said, I must crank up my reloading presses (another skill I learned as a youth in Idaho) -- gotta catch up with the Weavers!] after the standoff ended. 'Didn't your mother and father make sure there were guns at the doors and windows, and isn't it true that you slept with guns?' [Sarah] Weaver disagreed"
"At one point when the prosecution was questioning another of its witnesses, Randy Weaver, Judge Harden clearly was angry and had lost his patience with the objections of the defense counsel. 'Counsel will stop sniping at each other because the court will not tolerate that,' he said. 'The state may put on their case as they see fit.'"
Horiuchi is now asserting his 5th amendment right not to testify. His attorneys tried to prevent transcripts of his testimony from the 1993 trial from being introduced as evidence. Prosecutor Yagman objected that their reasoning [that they couldn't cross examine a transcript] was absurd, and Judge Harden apparently agreed with him.
"The decision on whether or not to hold Horiuchi over for trial will come some time after December 29, 1997."
Bonners Ferry Herald, December 17, 1997, article entitled "Weaver faces Horiuchi in court", subtitled "No decision on whether FBI sharpshooter will face trial". The magistrate who presided over the preliminary hearing might not release his decision until 1998. Horiuchi appeared in person, dressed in dark blue suit. The magistrate did rule, "I find Lon Horiuchi did unlawfully kill Vicki Weaver", but he wants more information for ruling on whether the can can go to trial. Sarah Weaver (now 21, then 16) testified about the shootings of her father, her mother and their friend Kevin Harris. Defense attorney Hoffinger tried to suggest to her that "the family was preparing for a battle with the federal government". [This line of B.S. has been so thoroughly debunked so many times, they must really be grasping at straws to defend assassin Horiuchi.] Hoffinger also tried to portray her as a Nazi racist [All kids may be misguided at one time or another, or maybe she really is racist -- but is that any excuse to shoot her parents? Get a life, Hoffinger!] During his cross-examination of Randy Weaver, Hoffinger was admonished by the judge "to ask questions and don't testify". The judge is withholding his decision until the attorneys file opinions on the degree of negligence required. The prosecution contends that he was negligent because he fired into the house where children were located; Hoffinger contends that a "reckless disregard to safety" must be proven. The attorneys are to turn in the briefs by Dec. 29.
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!]
Spokesman-Review, December 16, 1997, on-line article entitled "Sniper to appear in court ", subtitled "Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris called as witnesses against agent".
Bonner County Daily Bee, December 16, 1997, article entitled "FBI sharpshooter faces judge today", subtitled "Preliminary hearing to determine of Horiuchi will face felony charge". Today's hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to bring assassin Horiuchi to trial. Assassin "Horiuchi contends the woman's death as an accident . . . . [Prosecutor] Woodbury claims Horiuchi wasn't acting on behalf of the government when he fired into the Weaver cabin, because he had been ordered to protect people designated as hostages inside the cabin."