Ammon Bundy had yet another Idaho trespassing case. This one ended in a plea deal
Alex Brizee, Idaho Statesman
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Ammon Bundy has been convicted of trespassing — again.
But this time, Bundy, a far-right leader who unsuccessfully ran for governor, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing at St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center as part of a plea agreement instead of going to trial. He’s previously gone to trial twice for trespassing charges in 2021 and 2022.
“This is an effort to extend a peace offering,” Bundy said in court Monday. “To say, ‘Hey look, I don’t really want to fight anymore over this.’”
Fourth District Magistrate Judge Annie McDevitt sentenced Bundy to 90 days in jail, but 78 days were suspended, and he was given credit for the remaining 12 days — which means he won’t spend any additional time in jail. McDevitt also sentenced Bundy to a year of unsupervised probation. A term of his probation is that he cannot commit any new crimes.
He is also expected to pay about $1,158 in court costs and a fine.
“We don’t have a situation of just an ordinary trespass,” McDevitt said. “This particular trespass is alleged to have created greater harm of shutting down an ambulance bay for a number of hours — which is significant.”
In March, Meridian, Garden City and Boise officers took the then-10-month-old grandson of Diego Rodriguez, who was a campaign consultant for Bundy during his bid for governor, over concerns about his welfare. The boy was then taken to St. Luke’s Meridian location for medical care, authorities said in a news release at the time.
Bundy led protests against the action outside St. Luke’s hospitals in Meridian and Boise. Bundy, along with a group of supporters, blocked the ambulance bay at the Meridian hospital during the March trespassing incident, according to a lawsuit filed by St. Luke’s against Bundy and Rodriguez.
Owyhee County Prosecutor Chris Topmiller in court Monday said that ambulances had to be diverted to multiple locations, including to at least one Saint Alphonsus hospital and other St. Luke’s Boise and Nampa locations.
Topmiller said that if the case went to trial, a St. Luke’s emergency room doctor would have testified that the hospital made the decision to close the ambulance bay over concerns that someone would enter the building through the bay without authorization and grab the child.
“I don’t know if you realize the impact of shutting down an ambulance bay,” McDevitt said. “Imagine if your significant other, or children needed care at that facility at that moment and not be able to get it.”
‘ST. LUKE’S DOESN’T LOVE THE DEAL,’ PROSECUTOR SAYS
Less than two weeks before the child was taken to St. Luke’s, he had been admitted to the hospital for “severe malnourishment” and then later discharged back to his parents after he gained enough weight, the news release said.
A blog post on the People’s Rights Network alleged that Bundy believed the baby was in “imminent danger” because he was taken from his mother.
Topmiller rebutted Bundy’s claims and said that if the case went to trial, a doctor would testify on behalf of the hospital.
“The child was malnourished,” Topmiller said.
Following the incident with the police, a few dozen people, including Bundy — who was later arrested on the trespassing count — went to St. Luke’s Meridian and the hospital’s main entrance, asking questions and demanding the baby be returned, the Idaho Statesman previously reported.
“I’ll be frank, St. Luke’s doesn’t love the deal,” Topmiller said. “St. Luke’s absolute bottom line is a misdemeanor conviction. Now, they wanted some additional things, which they’re not going to get; they’re not thrilled about that, but they do understand that.”