Ammon Bundy Takes Plea Deal in Hospital Trespass Case

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Far-right activist Ammon Bundy took a plea deal in a hospital trespassing case on Monday, capping off a month of escalating rhetoric from him and his supporters.

Bundy, who rose to fame in a pair of armed standoffs against law enforcement in 2014 and 2016, currently leads the right-wing activist group People’s Rights Movement. In spring 2022, the group demonstrated outside an Idaho hospital that was treating a member’s grandson for severe malnourishment. Bundy, who claimed the child had been kidnapped, blocked an ambulance bay, temporarily causing emergency vehicles to be rerouted to other medical centers. He was charged with trespassing and hit with a civil suit from the hospital.

Ahead of the criminal trial on Monday, Bundy called on fans to rally outside the courthouse and issued a “warning” to a judge and prosecutors. But after a last-minute message calling off the rally, Bundy agreed to plead guilty on Monday in exchange for a $1,000 fine, a 90-day suspended jail sentence, and a year of unsupervised probation. He’ll avoid prison time if he abides by the terms of his probation.

With his latest plea, Bundy will have been convicted of trespassing every year since 2021. (In 2021 and 2022, he was convicted of trespassing in two separate incidents at the Idaho Statehouse.)

The plea comes amid months of saber-rattling in Bundy’s dispute with St. Luke’s hospital.

In December, Bundy told a conservative Idaho outlet that, if St. Luke’s won its civil case against him and tried to collect damages, “I’m not going to let that happen. I’m making moves to stop that from happening. And if I have to meet ’em on the front door with my, you know, friends and a shotgun, I’ll do that. They’re not going to take my property.”

Shortly before Monday’s scheduled jury trial in the criminal trespassing case, Bundy again appeared to threaten action. In a document labeled warning.pdf last week, Bundy told a judge, lawyers, and prosecutors to back off the case.

“My only desire is to be left alone!” Bundy wrote. “But I cannot stand by when the rights to life, liberty and property are being violated all around me. It is my belief that if a man or woman smites me or my family once I should bear it patiently and not revile against them. If they smite me or my family a second time, I should not revile against them. But if they smite me or my family a third time I should bear it patiently as a testimony against them, but warn them, in the name of Jesus Christ, that they come no more upon me or my family, and if they do so, God will deliver them into my hands.”

On Saturday, an email to People’s Rights Network supporters called for a multi-day demonstration outside the courthouse where Bundy was scheduled to stand trial. But later that day, Bundy called off the protest, claiming to have made a “peace offering” with the hospital.

In a message on the People’s Rights Network blog, Bundy complained about the burden of the civil lawsuit and stated that “with all of this going on, yesterday I made a peace offering to St. Luke’s executives and settled the CRIMINAL case outside of court.” (Criminal cases are not settled outside of courts.)

Bundy’s message is full of false statements,” Erik Stidham, a lawyer representing St. Luke’s told The Daily Beast on Monday morning. “I would highlight that Bundy never made an offer to St. Luke’s in the criminal case. St. Luke’s does not control the criminal case; the prosecutor does. As the victim of the trespass, St. Luke’s only has the right to be informed of plea negotiations.”

Instead, Bundy agreed to a plea deal through the court on Monday morning. The guilty plea means admitting that he’d blocked an emergency department’s ambulance bay—something he’d previously denied doing.

As part of the plea deal, Bundy will pay a $1,000 fine, plus court fees. He also agreed to a 90-day suspended sentence (with 12 days removed, due to time already served), and a year of unsupervised probation.

The civil trial is still ongoing, Stidham said.

Bundy’s crime was “serious,” he said. “Mr. Bundy shut down emergency access to the busiest emergency department in the Treasure Valley for hours. And Mr. Bundy recklessly endangered lives just so that he could get publicity for himself and his political campaign. St. Luke’s is committed to pursuing its civil case against Mr. Bundy.”

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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