Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ruby Ridge Survivors Settle for $3.1 Million Government Admits No Wrongdoing in Siege

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ruby Ridge Survivors Settle for $3.1 Million Government Admits No Wrongdoing in Siege

Article excerpt

The Justice Department agreed Tuesday to pay Randy Weaver and his children $3.1 million for the killing of Weaver's wife and son during a siege by federal agents of the white separatist's cabin at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

Each of the three surviving children of Vicki Weaver - Sara, Rachel and Elisheba - will get $1 million, and Randy Weaver will get $100,000.

The settlement resolves only a small part of the case. A federal criminal investigation was opened Friday into whether five top FBI officials, including recently demoted Deputy FBI Director Larry Potts, covered up their approval of "shoot-on-sight" orders given to bureau snipers at Ruby Ridge. All five have been suspended with pay.

Senate hearings on the case are set to begin Sept. 6.

The Weaver family had sought $200 million in damages through civil claims against the government and a suit against several federal officials. The settlement resolves all the family's claims against the government and its employees.

"By entering into a settlement, the United States hopes to take a substantial step toward healing the wounds the incident inflicted," the Justice Department said in a statement. "The settlement reflects the loss to the Weaver children of their mother and brother."

The government did not admit any wrongdoing or legal liability in agreeing to the settlement, but Randy Weaver's attorney, Gerry Spence, said that was not how the Weavers felt.

"In the Weavers' eyes, the government acknowledges wrongdoing by the payment of these moneys as damages," Spence said. "This payment . . . in no way lessens the family's determination to see that those guilty of killing their mother and brother be brought to trial and held responsible in the criminal courts."

Randall Day, prosecutor in Boundary County, Idaho, is considering whether to bring state charges against the federal agents. The Justice Department decided last year not to charge any of its employees with federal crimes in connection with the shootings.

Militia and survivalist groups, angered at the lack of prosecution of law enforcement agents involved, have made the case a rallying cry in their protests against the federal government. …

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