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Those who took plea deals in refuge standoff weigh options


SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An occupier of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge who took a plea deal before seven co-defendants were acquitted of the same charge says his lawyer is talking with prosecutors and withdrawing his guilty plea is a possibility.

Jon Ritzheimer told The Associated Press late Wednesday that attorneys for several others who agreed to plea bargains are having similar discussions.

It comes after a federal jury’s stunning acquittal last week of key figures in the armed standoff over federal land policy last winter.

Legal experts say prosecutors are likely considering how to proceed.

Law professor Tung Yin of Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland says those who went to trial beat the odds by winning, but for those who opted for plea deals, the acquittals don’t justify a request to withdraw a guilty plea.

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