Last federal refuge standoff occupier to remain in custody

AP News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2016 7:30 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal court judge has allowed Oregon standoff defendant Kenneth Medenbach to be released from jail while awaiting trial, but he will keep the last holdout in the armed takeover in custody.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones said Wednesday he remained concerned about David Fry's mental instability, threats of "suicide by cop" before his surrender to FBI agents and that he came to Oregon in violation of the conditions of his Ohio probation, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://goo.gl/IJT4b1).

Jones also said a psychological report on Fry states that Fry is concerned about invasions from outer space and has spoken of a wish to be reincarnated as a woman.

Fry objected to the judge's characterization of those statements, saying he's never been diagnosed with a particular mental illness, that he has the right to believe in what he chooses to believe in, and that he had said he'd rather be a woman "because it seems easier." Suicidal statements he made before his surrender at the refuge were caused by fears of being raped in jail, he told the judge.

Fry's defense lawyer suggested Fry that be released to his parents in Ohio and placed on electronic monitoring until trial, when he can be returned to custody as the trial proceeds. "I give you my word I will be here to see this through," Fry told the judge.

After Jones ruled to keep him in custody, Fry continued to object, calling the judge a bigot, a liar and a racist, as a deputy U.S. marshal led him out of the courtroom.

The 27-year-old has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to impede federal officers from doing their work at the refuge.

Fry was the last occupier to surrender at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Feb. 11.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com