The Ruby Ridge (Randy Weaver) Trial: A Chronology

The Weaver family home on Ruby Ridge, near Naples, Idaho

1968
Randy Weaver joins the Army and becomes a member of the Green Berets.
1970
While back in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on leave from Fort Bragg, Randy resumes dating Vicki Jordison, a confident 21-year-old from Coalville, Iowa.
November 1971
Randy and Vicki marry in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
March 1976
Living in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Vicki gives birth to the couple's first child, Sara.
1978
Vicki begins having visions of her and her future family living on a mountaintop where they would be safe from the coming Apocalypse. The Weavers form a Bible study group and begin to worry about "ZOG" (Zionist Organized Government).  Randy starts collecting guns and Vicki studies self-sufficiency and survivalist techniques.
July 1978
As the Weavers begin a search for a mountaintop retreat, Vicki gives birth to a son, Samuel.
1982
Vicki gives birth to a second daughter, Rachel.
August 1983
The Weavers sell their Iowa home and head west, finding and buying a 20-acre parcel on Ruby Ridge in northern Idaho.
March 1984
The Weavers complete construction on their cabin and begin living on Ruby Ridge.  The Weavers home school their children.
Mid-1980s
The Weavers take in a fatherless and troubled teenager named Kevin Harris.  The Weavers begin adopting racist views, finding justification for them in their interpretations of the Bible.  They begin limiting their association to those who hold like-minded views.
October 24, 1989
Randy meets an undercover ATF agent and allegedly sells him two sawed-off shotguns. 
June 12, 1990
Government agents offer to drop firearms charges against Randy if he agrees to be an informant concerning illegal activities of members of the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist organization with a stronghold in northern Idaho.  Randy refuses the offer and notifies the Aryan Nation headquarters that the government is attempting to infiltrate their group.
December 13, 1990
Randy is indicted on federal firearms charges.
January 17, 1991
Federal agents arrest Randy at gunpoint as he and Vicki traveled down the mountain to purchase supplies.  Randy is jailed for a day, then released on bail.
January 21, 1991
Randy receives a letter informing him that his trial has been scheduled for March 20, though the actual date was February 20.
February 1991
When Randy fails to show up for his court date, he is declared a fugitive and a warrant for his arrest is issued.
Spring 1991
Vicki Weaver writes threatening letters (e.g., "The tyrant's blood will flow") to federal agencies.  The Weavers do not leave their land during the 16 months after Randy was declared a fugitive.
October 24, 1991
Vicki gives birth to a third daughter, Elisheba.
March 4, 1992
U. S. marshals (in plain clothes) drive up the road to Weavers' cabin, but are stopped at gunpoint by Randy who informs them they are trespassing.  The marshals leave.
August 17, 1992
A U. S. Marshals Special Operations Group ("SOG") sets up a command post and begins active surveillance of the Weaver property.
August 21, 1992
As a three-man SOG team, armed with cameras and weapons, hikes around Weavers' property, the Weavers' dog begins barking.  The Weavers leave their cabin to investigate.  When Kevin Harris and Sammy Weaver come to within a few yards of agent William Degan, he points a gun at them and shouts, "Stop! U.S. Marshal!"  Harris responds by fatally shooting Degan with his rifle, prompting fellow marshal Larry Cooper to fire three times at Harris.  A third nearby marshal, Arthur Roderick, shoots and kills the Weaver dog ("Striker"), fearing that it would give away his position.  The shooting of the dog prompts Sammy Weaver to fire at the marshal. Cooper then fires at Sammy, killing the boy.  Harris retreats to the Weaver cabin.  By nightfall, Ruby Ridge is crawling with agents from U. S. Marhsals Office, the county, U.S. Border Patrol, the State Police, the FBI, and the Idaho Ntional Guard.
August 22, 1992
The FBI revises its rules of engagement to allow agents to fire at Weaver if he can be shot without endangering others.   A crowd on spectators, including many anti-government activists begins gathering near Ruby Ridge.  Television crews set up camp.  When the Weavers decide to leave their cabin for a nearby shed, where they had put Sammy's body, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi fires at Randy, hitting him in the right arm.  The Weavers run back to the cabin.  As Vicki, holding her baby in her arms, stands next to the cabin door, Horiuchi fires a bullet that passes through Vicki's head and hits Harris in the chest.
August 23, 1992
As agents are in the process of destroying out buildings around the Weaver cabin, they discover Sammy Weaver's body.
August 24, 1992
An FBI negotiator calls out to the Weavers, asking Vicki (who he does not know has died) whether she would like to let her children out for pancakes.  A government robot tries to take a telephone into the Weaver home, but Randy warns that he will shoot the robot and the robot retreats.
August 28, 1992
The FBI brings Colonel Bo Gritz, a decorated Viet Nam vet associated with right-wing causes, to Ruby Ridge to negotiate a surrender. 
August 31, 1992
On the day after Kevin Harris has surrendered to get desperately needed medical attention, and after Randy had been promised representation by famed defense lawyer Gerry Spence, the Weavers surrender to federal authorities.
April 14, 1993
The murder trial of Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris opens in the federal courthouse in Boise before Judge Edward Lodge.  U. S. Attorney Ron Howen offers the opening statement for the government.
April 19, 1993
On the fourth day of the trial, during a siege of a religious compound near Waco, Texas, a fire breaks out and eighty members of the Branch Davidian cult are killed.  Jurors in the Weaver trial are told to ignore the incident.
June 16, 1993
Jury deliberations begin in the Ruby Ridge trial.
July 8, 1993
After a lengthy deliberation, the jury acquits Harris and Weaver of charges relating to the murder of agent Degan.  Weaver is convicted on the minor charge of failing to appear in court on his 1991 weapons charge.
October 18, 1993
Randy Weaver is sentenced to 18 months in prison (14 of which he had now served).
December 17, 1993
Weaver is released from jail.
August 1994
Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris file a $300 million civil suit against the U. S. government for the wrongful deaths of Sammy and Vicki Weaver.
Spring 1995
A 542-page Department of Justice report on the Ruby Ridge case is leaked to the press. 
August 1995
The U. S. Government pays Weaver $3.1 million in compensation for the killing of his wife and son.
Fall 1995
The Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings on the Ruby Ridge case.  Weaver testifies and says, "If I had it to do over again, I would come down the mountain for my court appearance."  He criticized the government for bringing no one to justice for the shooting of his wife.
1997
The District Attorney for Boundary County charges FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi with involuntary manslaughter in connection with death of Vicki Weaver.
June 5, 2001
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allows prosecution to go forward against Lon Horiuchi, holding that federal agents are not necessarily immune from state prosecution.
June 14, 2001
Boundary County prosecutors drop involuntary manslaughter charges against Lon Horiuchi in connection with the shooting of Vicki Weaver.

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