FBI Agent, W. Joseph Astarita, Goes on Trial for Lying About Deadly Shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum

East Oregonian

Astarita faces federal charges of making false statements and obstruction of justice. The government alleges Astarita lied about firing at Finicum moments before state police shot him dead on Jan. 26, 2016, when he bolted from a pickup at a roadblock on Highway 395 in Harney County.

The trial might not be such a boon to the Finicum side. James Smith, with the Oregon Department of Justice, represents the state and its interests. He said law enforcement officials testifying during the trial will use pseudonyms out of concern for their safety. That will make them difficult to serve notice to at the trial, he said.

The Guardian

Astarita, who pleaded not guilty in federal court in Portland, was assigned to arrest the leaders of the standoff on 26 January 2016 when Finicum drove off the road and into a snowbank, before attempting to flee on foot. During the ensuing confrontation, some of which was captured on film, Oregon state police officers shot and killed Finicum, an Arizona rancher, who police say was reaching for his gun. Police later said the shooting was “justified”.

Soon after the incident, however, Astarita “knowingly and willfully made a false statement” to a supervisory special agent when he said he did not fire his weapon according to the grand jury charges. The “misleading conduct” and failure to disclose the fact that he had fired two rounds played a role in the FBI’s decision not to call a shooting incident response team to investigate, according to federal officials.

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5 Responses to FBI Agent, W. Joseph Astarita, Goes on Trial for Lying About Deadly Shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum

  1. auscitizenmom says:

    As far as I am concerned, Lavoy Finicum was murdered.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “…when Finicum drove off the road and into a snowbank, before attempting to flee on foot.”
    ~ He got out to draw any fire away from the people in the vehicle, not to run away like a coward – sheesh – what a biased, poorly researched article at the Guardian. I read a lot about the Bundy standoff, and some about the Finicum killing, even before I researched Jerry Delemus’s situation. It amazed me the bias in all 3 stories was so strong that it completely blinded not only the general public’s comments, but so-called “journalists” to the actual facts.

    Law enforcement should not be using pseudonyms in this case. They are not witnesses against the mob. To me this seems like a tactic to make it seem like Finicum’s friends are violent vigilantes in the minds of the jury.

    In the CIVIL COMPLAINT DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL at http://media.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/other/2018/01/26/FINICUMLAWSUIT.pdf it states (emphasis mine):

    3. On January 26, 2016, at approximately 4:40 p.m., decedent Robert LaVoy Finicum was fatally shot three times IN THE BACK , assassination style, by one or more militarized officers of the Oregon State Police and/or FBI.
    4. LaVoy had plainly and repeatedly explained he was going to go across the county border, to
    meet with Grant County Oregon Sherriff Glen Palmer, and invited several of the above – named
    defendants to come with him. The problem was, Sherriff Palmer had already been identified by
    several of the above-named defendants as an unfriendly political personality, and as being potentially uncooperative with what has now been discovered to be the illegal, diabolical and
    shocking internal government scheme and conspiracy to do intentional violence to LaVoy Finicum and other political supporters of Cliven Bundy and those who were visible public critics of the BLM and federal government overreach.

    Liked by 4 people

    • michellc says:

      It never looked like to me he was reaching for his gun, but instead was reaching where he was shot. He got out with his hands in the air, although imho he ran off the road into a snowbank because the truck was fired on.

      I will always believe the intentions of some was that nobody was walking out of that truck alive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • auscitizenmom says:

        I believe they shot him in the leg with a rubber bullet, which made him reach to that side. And, then, they shot him, saying he was reaching for a gun.


  3. This is a very good article to read:


    “The Elephant In The Room PRE-Conviction Prison
    April 30, 2017
    Once the floodgates were open for judges to predict what a defendant would do upon release, bail as a presumption for all accused, became a relic of the past.”
    ~ I wonder how much of this attitude allowed these government employees to shoot LaVoy Finicum 3 times in the back.

    Liked by 1 person

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