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Ammon Bundy calls judge ‘wicked’ after Idaho man is found guilty of crime, gets jail time

About 400 protesters against the wearing of masks and other health safety measures during the deadly COVID pandemic converge on Central District Health offices on Dec. 8, 2020, in Boise.  (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman)
About 400 protesters against the wearing of masks and other health safety measures during the deadly COVID pandemic converge on Central District Health offices on Dec. 8, 2020, in Boise. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman)
By Alex Brizee Idaho Statesman

An Idaho man who protested outside a former Central District Health board member’s home was sentenced to roughly six months in jail Thursday.

Robert Jones was convicted by a six-person jury of misdemeanor disturbing the peace, according to online court records. The 42-year-old is a member of Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights Movement, and he protested by banging pots outside the home of Diana Lachiondo in 2020, according to a YouTube video posted by Bundy.

Lachiondo was an Ada County commissioner and member of the Central District Health board at the time.

“You just convicted a peaceful family man – for doing nothing,” Bundy said in a video, “and then you allowed this judge to have power over him because you couldn’t see through what is really happening here, that this is free speech being censored.”

In December 2020, during a surge of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the Central District Health Board of Health met to vote on an order to mandate masks in public and private spaces throughout the district. The Boise-based health district’s meeting was quickly postponed as protesters gathered outside health district headquarters and multiple board members’ homes.

At Lachiondo’s house, Jones was among a group of people – some of them armed – who yelled, fired air horns, banged pots, played sound clips of the violent movie “Scarface,” and accused her of “tyranny and cowering inside,” according to a Facebook post she made following the protest. Lachiondo wasn’t home, but her two sons were, along with her mother, who was out taking their dog for a walk.

Fourth District Magistrate Judge Susan Clark sentenced Jones to 180 days in jail – the maximum allowed – but he was given credit for time served: four days. He was booked into the Ada County Jail, online jail records showed.

Idaho’s statute on disturbing the peace reads, in part, that a person “who maliciously and willfully disturbs the peace or quiet of any neighborhood, family or person, by loud or unusual noise, or by tumultuous or offensive conduct … or uses any vulgar, profane or indecent language within the presence or hearing of children, in a loud and boisterous manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Bundy accused officials of “political retaliation” since Jones is a member of his network and was instrumental in assisting Bundy during its recent involvement in a child welfare case. That case and protests led by Bundy resulted in St. Luke’s suing the independent gubernatorial candidate – a lawsuit Bundy has refused to respond to.

Bundy’s many run-ins with Idaho law enforcement and the legal system the past few years have included trespassing charges and convictions, as well as a contempt finding that led to jail time.

“This judge, Susan Clark, is a terrible, wicked person,” Bundy said in his video. Bundy said “people should come and take care” of Clark, but said his organization doesn’t have the ability to bring justice to her.

Another protester, Susan Lang, was sentenced to seven days in August after she was convicted of disturbing the peace outside the home of Lachiondo.

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