Randy Weaver, 74, has died
May 12, 2022
On August 21, 1992, Weaver's son, Samuel, and U.S. Marshal William Degan were killed in an exchange of gunfire after the Weaver family dog, Stryker, detected a team of six U.S. Marshals surveilling the family property and was shot and killed as he approached.
It was a decisive event that disrupted the normally tranquil pace of life in Boundary County, bringing to a remote field above Naples enough federal, state and local law enforcement, National Guard personnel and emergency services crews so as to warrant, for a time, a new unincorporated city ... unofficially dubbed by cardboard sign, "Federal Way."
On the road below enough cameras, TV trucks and loud and colorful characters congregated as to constitute a self-sustaining media feeding frenzy.
"You shot my dog, you son of a bitch!" young Samuel Weaver is reported to have screamed as he opened fire on day one, setting off the misnamed "Siege at Ruby Ridge" at the remote Weaver cabin atop Caribou Ridge.
The following morning, family matriarch Vicki Weaver lie dead, killed with a shot that struck and wounded family friend Kevin Harris as he and other family members ran through the door she was holding open, passed through the glass and hit her in the head, her infant daughter Elishiba in her arms.
Randy had also been hit returning to the house from tending the body of his son. Shot and wounded under controversial special rules of engagement.
With Vicki's body in the entryway and Sammy's in a shed not far from the front door, Sarah and her little sister, Rachel, helped take care of Randy, Kevin and Elishiba for 11 days, hearing the incessant taunts of FBI negotiators by bullhorn as they invited Vicky to bring the kids to breakfast.
They also heard on the radio an appeal from Paul Harvey asking them to accept an offer of pro bono legal representation from perhaps the most illustrious defense attorney in existence at the time, Gerry Spence. They heard, but held out.
Until Special Forces hero and then-presidential candidate Bo Gritz arrived amid the chaotic scene and convinced federal officials to allow he and long-time family friend Jackie Brown to go to the cabin. It was then the world outside learned that Vicki was dead.
Instead of an uprising, there was mourning. Reality set in.
Two days later, on August 31, the ordeal in the cabin came to an end as Randy Weaver was carried to a waiting ambulance.
About a year and a half later, a time both Weaver and Harris spent in jail, the state's charges of murder and conspiracy fell apart under Spence's relentless legal logic. Harris was acquitted of all charges and Weaver of all but failing to appear in court on the original firearms charge. He was sentenced to time served.
In the wake of civil cases, Randy and his daughters were eventually awarded a total of $3,100,000 in compensation; Kevin Harris received a $380,000 settlement.
"Love you always Dad," Sara posted. "See ya next time I see ya."
Mike Weland, Publisher
6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
A 9B Media LLC publication
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