Today was the second day of the trespassing trial for Ammon Bundy and Aaron Von Schmidt.
The case stems from an incident last August at the Idaho State Capitol where Bundy and Von Schmidt were arrested after refusing to leave the Lincoln Auditorium. Bundy’s defense has said that he broke no rules or laws that day and that the capitol was still open to the public at the time of Bundy’s arrest. The state is arguing that Bundy was trespassing once he was ordered to leave the Lincoln Auditorium.
Bundy is also on trial for an additional misdemeanor charge of “resisting arrest.”
The prosecution spent day two of the trial calling several police officers to the stand. Some of the officers were present at the capitol and participated in the arrest of Bundy or Schmidt, and some of the officers were part of the transportation or booking of the defendants.
Much of the state’s argument focused on Bundy’s lack of cooperation throughout the day. Officers testified that Bundy was “dead weight” and would not stand to walk to the vehicle or lift his head up for his booking photo as examples.
At least one officer discussed transporting Bundy to the squad car in an office chair and that they did so to protect officers and Bundy because it would be difficult to carry him to their vehicles.
The defense team for Bundy asked the officers about whether or not Bundy resisted or actively fought against being arrested. One officer testified that Bundy did not “actively resist” but did not help them with the arrest either.
Several months ago, Idaho Dispatch had asked Bundy about why he did not cooperate during his arrest. Bundy indicated that he did nothing wrong and would not help them arrest him for something he did not do. Additionally, Bundy told Idaho Dispatch that he does not use his muscles during a “false arrest” because he would be charged with resisting arrest if he were to do so. The goal, he said, is not to “resist arrest” but to not help the police incarcerate him either.
Bundy also told Idaho Dispatch that he does not have an issue being held accountable for things he does wrong but says on that day he was innocent.
Another key point that was discussed throughout the day was whether or not Bundy and Schmidt were trespassing when they were ordered to leave by Idaho State Police.
The prosecution argued that the legislature can make the rules for the hearing rooms and that Bundy and Schmidt both did not clear the room as ordered. Because they did not leave, they were trespassing the prosecution argued.
Bundy’s defense team argued that the capitol was open until 7:00 p.m. that day and that Bundy was in a place that was open to the public. Because it was open to the public, Bundy could not have been trespassing at the time of his arrest just shortly after 5:00 p.m. they argued.
The state argued that the room was ordered to be cleared and that it did not matter what time the rest of the building was open until.
Bundy’s team asked several of the officers if Bundy was doing anything wrong at the time that he was sitting in the Lincoln Auditorium when most of the people had left. Several officers said that he was not doing anything wrong at that time and that they did not see Bundy doing anything other than sitting in the “press area” of the Lincoln Auditorium. Once House Speaker Scott Bedke ordered the room to be cleared, the officers said they then took action against Bundy and Schmidt because of their refusal to leave.
Shortly before their last break, the prosecuting team said that their last witness, Bedke, was not present in the building. They said he was en route but was still several hours away.
The judge asked that they come back from the break and to see where he was when he returned, but ultimately the trial recessed for the day.
Bedke will testify tomorrow, and then Bundy’s defense team and Schmidt will call their witnesses.
Tags: Aaron Von Schmidt, Ammon Bundy, Blake Higley, Idaho State Capitol, Idaho State Police, Scott Bedke