PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Ammon Bundy's lawyers on Tuesday postponed their fight to get their client released pending appeal, while a federal judge released another of the militia man's co-defendants to await trial at home.
This past week, U.S. District Judge Stacie F. Beckerman ordered Bundy to remain in jail pending trial on charges of conspiracy to impede a federal officer from performing his duty. Bundy was scheduled to appeal that decision at a hearing Tuesday, but his lawyers announced shortly before the hearing that they needed more time "to gather further evidence of his statements and actions encouraging a peaceful protest and civil disobedience."
Also appearing at Tuesday's hearing were right-wing Internet radio talk show host Pete Santilli and Arizona militia man "Captain" Joseph O'Shaughnessy.
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman agreed to release O'Shaughnessy under house arrest and scheduled another hearing for Thursday afternoon to decide whether to release Santilli.
Co-defendant Shawna Cox was released late on Jan. 29.
Beckerman had said that Cox would remain jailed until the last four militants holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge left or were arrested. But hours later, she reversed that decision and issued a written order of release.
At issue in Santilli's release were several statements he made on his YouTube radio show, "The Pete Santilli Show."
U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight pointed to one episode where Santilli claimed he buried unregistered guns in his backyard in California to avoid surrendering them under a restraining order that was later dismissed.
In another episode, Santilli said that if federal agents showed up at his house in the middle of the night, he would shoot them. And in a third episode, Santilli called the feds "pussies" and said, "I'll take care of your families."
Santilli claimed the government took all three statements out of context.
"He's a shock jock," Santilli's attorney Thomas Coan told Mosman. "The government combed through years of episodes of his show and found something inflammatory."
Coan said the comment about buried guns was a joke, and claimed Santilli said it to protect himself from the enemies he has made as an outspoken radio host.
"He wants those people to think he has plenty of guns," Coan said. "And of course he wouldn't really shoot federal agents."
As for the third statement, Coan said Santilli was expressing support for the families of his listeners, not malice toward the families of federal agents.
Mosman said he wasn't sure how much weight to give Santilli's statements.
"Other than Mr. Santilli's own words, this would be a classic case for release," Mosman said. "He's a veteran who is gainfully employed and has stable housing with a stable, secure person."