Man rides horse 1,100 miles to prison
It's been two years since the standoff between armed protesters and federal agents at the Malheur National Wildlife refuge in Oregon. The confrontation resulted from a dispute over federal land management.
Oregonian Duane Ehmer, a retired Army veteran, was in the midst of that standoff. Ehmer dug a trench on refuge grounds to shield himself and his horse from FBI gunfire and later was sentenced by a jury to one year and one day in prison for damaging federal property.
The 41 day standoff left one protester dead and many more angered at what they call governmental overreach.
The two men at the center of the standoff, father-and-son ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond have been sentenced to five years in prison for setting fire to public land. They have already served two years.
Ehmer is expected to show up to Lompoc Federal Prison by January 24 for his sentence. He's decided to ride his horse "Hellboy" from his home of Irrigon, Oregon to Lompoc. A total of 1,100 miles.
Thursday, he reached Redding. Bringing his total to over 800 miles already covered.
Ehmer said he and Hellboy have one mission.
"Do whatever we have to do to get the father and son rancher out of prison." Ehmer said. "You know, if it means going to prison for a year for digging a hole to save my friends life, then that's what I'll have to do."
Donning the American flag, this Army vet stresses, it's not a fight.
"I love my country, I always have loved my country and I think our kids are so important to stand up for our freedom."
Once they arrive, Hellboy will be trailered back home. He says his year away will give Hellboy a chance to rest from the journey.