Jury mulls case of FBI agent accused of lying about gunshots
PORTLAND, Ore. – A jury is deliberating whether or not an FBI agent lied about firing pictures at a armed forces chief who participated within the armed takeover of an Oregon flora and fauna safe haven.
Prosecutors and protection legal professionals for W. Joseph Astarita made last arguments and jury of 3 ladies and 9 males started deliberating Thursday afternoon, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
Astarita is charged with making false statements and obstruction of justice after telling investigators he didn’t hearth two pictures that ignored Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a key determine within the workforce that seized the safe haven in 2016 whilst protesting the imprisonment of 2 ranchers.
Astarita pleaded now not accountable and denied firing the pictures.
Assistant U.S. Lawyer Paul Maloney argued Thursday that Astarita was once a rookie at the elite Hostage Rescue Crew who panicked and fired as Finicum got here with reference to operating over his teammate at a police roadblock. Astarita then lied to hide that he did not hit his mark on Jan. 26, led by way of his ego and bravery as a “tremendous agent,” Maloney mentioned.
The alleged pictures got here as government attempted to arrest Finicum. One shot hit the roof of the truck and the opposite went off course as Finicum stepped out of his truck, his palms within the air, investigators mentioned.
Oregon State Police fatally shot Finicum seconds later.
Protection legal professional David Angeli countered that the federal government offered no witness over 11 days of Astarita’s trial who both noticed or heard Astarita hearth pictures the day that state police and FBI brokers arrested leaders of the takeover of the Malheur Nationwide Flora and fauna Safe haven in jap Oregon.
Prosecutors additionally supplied no forensic proof that proved Astarita discharged his Colt AR-15, Angeli mentioned.
Astarita had no purpose to lie since he’d been instructed that the Deschutes County district lawyer had discovered all pictures fired all through the arrests to be justified, Angeli mentioned.
Protection legal professionals additionally mentioned an unidentified state police SWAT officer will have taken the pictures.
Data from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com