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Jul 18, 9:11 PM EDT

The Latest: Prosecutor says standoff figure hatched escape


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Latest on defendants charged in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge. (all times local):

6 p.m.

A federal prosecutor says Oregon standoff figure Ryan Bundy was working on a plan to escape from jail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoff Barrow dropped the bombshell at a hearing Monday in which Bundy and his brother Ammon sought to be released as they await trial on charges stemming from the January takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

In trying to show Ryan Bundy is a flight risk, Barrow said deputies searching Bundy's cell in April found torn sheets braided together in a 12- to 15-foot rope, as well as extra pillow cases and food.

Bundy denied he was attempting an escape, telling U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones it's simply not true.

Court records show Bundy hasn't been charged with any crime related to the episode.

Jones says he'll decide Tuesday whether to release the Bundys.

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9:45 a.m.

A federal judge has denied a change-of-venue request from a defendant charged in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Jason Patrick sought to have the upcoming trial moved out of Portland, citing the extensive media coverage.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown agrees that press coverage has been extensive, but says it has been factual in nature and not so overwhelming that a sufficient number of potential jurors could not be impartial.

She also notes the passage of time between the occupation that ended Feb. 11 and the trial scheduled to start in September.

Patrick is among 26 defendants indicted on a charge of conspiring to impede federal officers from doing their jobs at the refuge. Seven men have already pleaded guilty.

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