PORTLAND, Ore. — The leader of an armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge took the witness stand in his own defense, tearfully telling jurors he was initially reluctant get involved in the plight of an Oregon ranching family.

Ammon Bundy wore blue jail scrubs Tuesday and had a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his front pocket.

Bundy said his father, Cliven Bundy, told him about two Oregon ranchers who had to return to prison after an appellate court ruled they hadn’t served the mandatory-minimum sentence on arson convictions.

Bundy said he was wary from a 2014 standoff with federal agents at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch, and he told his father he couldn’t fight another battle. He said he later came to realize it was his duty to get involved.

Bundy is charged with conspiracy to impede workers from doing their job at the refuge. He’s expected to return to the stand on Wednesday.