Minneapolis, MN 55407

Aug. 26, 1997

 

 

 

Denise M. Woodbury

7119 2nd

Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

 

Dear Ms. Woodbury:

 

As a citizen of the United States and a former resident of the State of Idaho for many years, I am deeply disturbed by the charges you recently filed against Lon Horiuchi and Kevin Harris.

 

The manslaughter charges filed against Lon Horiuchi are simply too little and too late. The Constitution of the United States provides that no one shall be deprived of life without due process of law. Lon Horiuchi is a cold-blooded, U.S. Government assassin who slaughtered Vicki Weaver as she stood in her doorway holding her infant child. No matter how you look at it, it is first degree murder:

 

If Lon Horiuchi shot Vicki Weaver to comply with the illegal orders to shoot any adult, it is first degree murder. (Remember, the Allies hung many Nazis after World War II for complying with illegal orders.)

If Lon Horiuchi shot Vicki Weaver on his own initiative, that is first-degree murder.

If Lon Horiuchi shot Vicki Weaver while he was attempting (as he claims) to assassinate Kevin Harris, that is first degree murder -- murder in the commission of another crime is first degree murder.

 

Prior to the assassination of Vicki Weaver and the attempted assassinations of Kevin Harris and Randy Weaver, there was no warning and no offer for them to surrender -- they were shot in cold blood and without warning.

 

Not only should Lon Horiuchi be charged with first-degree murder in the assassination of of Vicki Weaver, he should also be charged with attempted murder for the shootings of Kevin Harris and Randy Weaver.

 

Regarding the new charges against Kevin Harris, this is a disgrace and a gross miscarriage of justice. Let’s review the facts:

 

The U.S. Marshals Service had had the Ruby Ridge property under surveillance for 18 months. They knew full well that the Weavers responded to any intrusions (whether by deer, elk or humans) with appropriate weapons in hand.

The U.S. Marshals Service was not there to arrest Randy Weaver. They were a special operations group -- boys and their toys -- in camouflage dress with night vision equipment, fully automatic battle rifles and suppressed submachine guns -- who were conducting an illegal search (no search warrant -- I do presume you’re aware of the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Ms. Woodbury?) of Randy Weavers property (I do presume trespass was still illegal in Idaho as of 1992, Ms. Woodbury?).

The U.S. Marshals Service threw rocks at the cabin to see what it would take to arouse their dogs (a grossly negligent act in view of their knowledge of how the Weavers responded to intrusions).

The dogs did not disappoint them, but remember -- it was the U.S. Marshals who instigated this!

As one of the dogs neared a U.S. Marshall (William Degan), he shot the dog (Criminal destruction of property, Ms. Woodbury? Remember, William Degan and his cohorts provoked this chase!) in plain view of 14-year-old Sammy Weaver.

Sammy Weaver was fully justified in shooting back at William Degan. Remember, they were not law enforcement officers in uniform with badges. They were boys and their toys in camouflage suits who had just shot the boy’s dog, and Sammy Weaver undoubtedly expected to be shot next.

William Degan shot Sammy Weaver in the arm.

As Sammy Weaver turned to run, William Degan shot Sammy Weaver in the back and murdered him. How you can call shooting a 14-old-boy in the back and murdering him an act of self-defense is utterly beyond me. That was an act of extreme cowardice, especially in view of the fact they that had been trespassing on the Weavers’ property and had deliberately provoked the chase.

At that point, Kevin Harris shot William Degan -- in view of the preceding events, there can be no reasonable doubt that this was a justifiable act of self-defense.

The surviving U.S. Marshals then lied about what had happened and caused the situation to be seriously escalated.

 

In the ensuing trial, the Government’s case was so weak and fabricated that attorney Gerry Spence did not even bother to present a defense; he simply rested and his client was acquitted. The federal prosecutor was ordered to apologize before the court for their misconduct, and at one point he reportedly broke down during a summation and said he could not go on. The judge took the almost unprecedented action of order the prosecution to reimburse the defense for their expenses.

 

Filing more charges against Kevin Harris is a gross travesty and abuse of the justice system. Where are the charges for first degree murder in the cowardly slaying of 14-year-old Sammy Weaver? It is the surviving U.S. Marshals, not Kevin Harris who must be brought to justice.

 

If the Boundary County prosecutors office is unwilling to see that justice is done in this case, then I hope and pray that the State of Idaho will intervene and attend to matters.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

MSV

 

CC: Governor Philip Batt

Lt. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter

Attorney General Alan G. Lance

 

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