Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupiers' fate in jury's hands

Judge thanks jurors as 6-week trial nears end

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The federal conspiracy case against Ammon Bundy and six co-defendants is now in the hands of jurors.

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown thanked all 12 jurors and the alternates for their dedication during the trial that began six weeks ago.

Earlier this week, the alternates asked the judge if — instead of being dismissed — they could be allowed to listen to a live audio feed of deliberations, since it's a landmark case in Oregon history.

The judge said she's never had such a request. She denied it, citing the sanctity of secret jury deliberations.

Bundy in early January led what turned out to be a 41-day occupation of a national wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon. He and his co-defendants are charged with conspiring to impede Interior Department employees from doing their duties at the refuge.

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