In a bizarre end to an already-bizarre criminal case, a group of six U.S. marshals surrounded the criminal defense attorney who defended Ammon Bundy, tackled him, and stunned him with a taser. The marshals have now filed a probable cause statement to justify their actions. In a statement filed in the U.S. District Court in Portland, the marshals give their explanation of why they took the actions they did, although their statement does not mention that a stun gun was used on Mumford.
Back in October, in a stunning loss for federal prosecutors, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, and five of their followers were acquitted from their federal conspiracy charges connected to their armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. It is reported that after the jury returned the not-guilty verdict, Mumford stood before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown and demanded that his client be released from custody immediately. He continued to yell and argue as the judge told him that Nevada still had a hold order on Bundy. Evidently that was when Mumford was tackled an tased.
A judge in Washington has been assigned to handle the citation against Mumford, who was cited for failing to follow a federal officer’s direction (a federal order) and disturbance at the end of the trial. The probable cause statement that was filed stated that Mumford was yelling so loud that people could hear him outside the courtroom, and his physical responses were pre-assault indicators consistent with someone preparing for a physical altercation.
What is Probable Cause?
Probable cause is generally defined as the reasonable belief based on the facts articulated, that a suspect has committed the crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. It is a 4th Amendment requirement necessary before police make an arrest, get a warrant, or make a search.
A probable cause statement, also known as an affidavit of probable cause, is a a sworn statement, typically made by a police officer, that outlines the factual justification for why a judge should allow for an arrest or search warrant. If probable cause is found in the case of Mumford, then the U.S. Marshals had a legal right to seize Mumford and take him into custody.
San Diego Criminal Defense and Trial Attorney
The Law Offices of David M. Boertje have been zealously defending people’s constitutional rights and freedom for decades. If you are being incessantly questioned by the police, or have been charged or arrested for a crime, call us and we will defend your rights. Our consultations are completely free and confidential. We can be reached at our San Diego office at (619) 229-1870. You can also contact us at our North County location at (760) 476-0901, or visit us online.