Trial for 8 Malheur militia begins Valentine’s Day

malheur national wildlife refuge sign 02122016_270240

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has selected Valentine’s Day as the trial date for eight of the 26 defendants indicted in the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

In a written order Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown said the date is firm and no delays will be granted without an extraordinary showing of good cause.

Occupation leader Ammon Bundy and eight others are scheduled to go to trial in September.

The defendants granted a delay until February 2017 include Dylan Anderson, Sandra Anderson, Sean Anderson, Duane Ehmer, Jason Patrick, Jon Ritzheimer, Jake Ryan and Darryl Thorn.

The remaining nine defendants have pleaded guilty and are waiting to be sentenced.

The occupation began Jan. 2 after a rally against prison sentences handed to two Oregon ranchers. It lasted nearly six weeks.

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