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Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160312
04/25/2017 08:08 AM
04/25/2017 08:08 AM
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Tulsa
airforce Online content OP
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Two men were convicted on some of the counts.

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A federal judge declared a mistrial Monday in the first Bunkerville standoff case, which targeted six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy to derail a court-ordered cattle seizure in 2014.

The mistrial — an anticlimactic end to a highly anticipated trial — was declared hours after the jury convicted two men of some of the 10 counts in the superseding indictment.

In returning the guilty verdicts, which still stand, jurors informed the court they were “hopelessly deadlocked” on the remaining counts and defendants. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro sent them back to the deliberation room in a last-ditch effort to encourage them to reach a more complete verdict.

“The court does accept the verdicts you have reached,” Judge Navarro said, before sending them back to deliberate.

But in the end, the jury was at an impasse — unable to unanimously choose a side in the deeply divided case.

The standoff, and then the trial three years later, pitted impassioned libertarian-minded protesters against the federal government. The protesters say they took up arms to defend their constitutional rights against what they viewed as a militant and aggressive federal police force. The federal government asserts there is no constitutional right to vigilante justice.

Alleged conspiracy

Though prosecutors won convictions against two of the defendants in the first trial, they were dealt a blow when the jury failed to return a verdict for any of the defendants on the two conspiracy charges, which represented the core issue of the trial.

“I think it should show the federal government that they have a much weaker case than they thought going into this, because we’ve now had two months of testimony from over 50 prosecution witnesses, and they couldn’t get 12 people to agree,” said attorney Todd Leventhal, who addressed members of the media outside court.

Jurors failed to reach a verdict on any of the charges against Leventhal’s client, O. Scott Drexler.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, who took over as the top federal prosecutor in Nevada halfway through the trial, declined to comment. Myhre said prosecutors have not decided whether they will retry the six men.

The six defendants in the first trial were charged as the gunmen, accused of supplying the firepower in a mass conspiracy orchestrated by Bundy — a stubborn, 71-year-old rancher who for years refused to pay grazing fees but allowed his cows to roam freely on federally managed land. Prosecutors, from the beginning, have described the six gunmen as the “least culpable” of the 17 people they eventually plan to try.


“Ultimately I’m happy, although I certainly would have rather had an all-out acquittal,” said attorney Jess Marchese, who represents Eric Parker.

Parker was photographed in the prone position, pointing a long gun toward federal officers. He testified at trial and told jurors he did not care about the cows.

After declaring the mistrial, Navarro set a new trial date of June 26 — the same day Bundy and others charged as ringleaders of the conspiracy are slated to be tried.

The convictions


Gregory Burleson, a formerly active member of Arizona militia groups who used to be a paid FBI informant, was convicted of assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer, interference with interstate commerce by extortion, obstruction of justice, interstate travel in aid of extortion and multiple gun counts. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 57 years.

During the standoff, Burleson was photographed holding a long gun on a mesa, perched above the dried-up wash where Bureau of Land Management agents were impounding cattle.

Months later, he was recorded telling undercover federal investigators that he traveled to Bunkerville to kill BLM agents, in an interview during which he made several incendiary comments about his intent to harm the federal officers. The undercover FBI agents interviewed several of the defendants in the case by posing as filmmakers for a documentary titled “America Reloaded.”

Todd Engel, an Idaho gun rights activist, was convicted of obstruction of justice and interstate travel in aid of extortion. Engel, who represented himself at trial, now faces up to 20 years in prison.

During the standoff, Engel was photographed holding a gun on a highway overpass, overlooking the wash where federal authorities were impounding cattle. Prosecutors played a video of him at a social event the day after the standoff, talking about how he and other protesters followed Bundy’s orders to go get his cows from federal officers.

Even though Burleson and Engel were convicted, they still could be retried on the other charges on which the jury was hung. They both are scheduled to be sentenced in July.

No shots were fired during the April 12, 2014, standoff, which ended when BLM agents, outnumbered by armed protesters, released roughly 400 cows and went home.

The event marked a flashpoint in Bundy’s decadeslong battle against the BLM. Federal prosecutors say that when authorities started rounding up cattle, Bundy responded by recruiting militiamen from across the country to help him block the impoundment operation. Hundreds of protesters descended on Bunkerville.

Defense attorneys argued that their clients were innocent because they had no knowledge of a conspiracy to stop the roundup — and no interest in the cattle seizure. Rather, defense attorneys argued, their clients traveled to Bunkerville after seeing videos that led to grave concerns about federal overreach.

The lawyers pointed to videos of federal officers using stun guns and police dogs on Bundy’s sons in the days leading up to the standoff, and knocking a middle-aged woman to the ground. They showed the jury pictures of a First Amendment area in the middle of the desert to argue that their clients were not assaulting officers, but instead protesting what they viewed as an infringement of constitutional rights.


The jury deliberated for nearly six days before returning the partial verdict. The trial opened with jury selection Feb. 6.
Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160313
04/25/2017 12:26 PM
04/25/2017 12:26 PM
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Those are some ugly mandatory minimums. I am also tracking the Michael Strickland case in Portland.

All of this stuff is definitely raising the stakes when you have factions which are going to show up to these things knowing that if a standoff separates relatively peacefully, the opposition will come back at individuals with crazy long prison sentences.

It leaves very little incentive to refrain from violence when it is demonstrated that's how the people using government as their main weapon and false prosecution are going to play it.

It means guys can walk away from an on site negotiated peace and still get hammered for life, so that cheapens the effectiveness and word of any negotiators in future situations by raising the stakes and having these guys walk out of stuff not really knowing if they are clear or the equivalent to an armed third strike felon depending on how an election or judicial appointment might go.


Life liberty, and the pursuit of those who threaten them.

Trump: not the president America needs, but the president America deserves.
Re: Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160314
04/25/2017 06:00 PM
04/25/2017 06:00 PM
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San Antonio, TX
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Who would trust the feds about anything?

Gregory Burleson, who used to be a paid FBI informant, recorded telling undercover federal investigators. FBI agents interviewed several of the defendants in the case by posing as filmmakers for a documentary titled “America Reloaded.” Federal officers using stun guns and police dogs on Bundy’s sons in the days leading up to the standoff, and knocking a middle-aged woman to the ground. They showed the jury pictures of a First Amendment area in the middle of the desert. Land of the free and home of the brave, yeah right.


Well, this is it.
Re: Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160315
04/28/2017 04:43 AM
04/28/2017 04:43 AM
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Tulsa
airforce Online content OP
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A new article by Pete Santilli. Too long to post here in full, but well worth a read. If you thought you knew everything about the Bundy Standoff, you don't.

A Deadly Game: The Jury didn’t hear what really happened at Bundy Ranch

Here's a taste:

Quote
...Prosecutor Steven Myhre went to great lengths to keep certain information from reaching the ears of the Jury. For instance, motions were filed before the trial began asking Judge Gloria Navarro to not allow defense attorneys to talk about Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Special Agent in Charge, Daniel P. Love’s horrendous record of abuse before during or after the protest, that led to his mysterious disappearance because of misconduct. The document also stated, as does many other motions filed by the Prosecutor’s office, that Prosecutor Myhre feared Defense Attorney’s would turn the trial around and effectively put Dan Love and the BLM on trial. When she refused to do that Myhre went another route and decided not to call Love to the stand at all.

Defense attorneys were incensed for a number of reasons. The first of which they argued, was their client’s right to face and question their accuser as outlined in the “confrontation clause” of the Sixth Amendment. The defense threatened, that if the Prosecution failed to call Love to the stand then they would meet the Sixth Amendment obligation by calling him for the defense.

After a valiant argument by the defense team, Navarro still granted the Prosecution’s request and forbid the Defense from calling the agent in charge to testify. Based on her belief in obscure case law, she speculated the court had discretion to fore-go the Constitution if she felt they were going to call Dan Love for the sole purpose of impeaching him. From that point on, no derogatory statements or information that made Dan Love look bad was allowed....
Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160316
04/28/2017 01:08 PM
04/28/2017 01:08 PM
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Western States
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Yeah, Dan Love.

I think 98.5% of all this crap would be solved and settled out if these assholes had as much integrity as that 13 year old delinquent girl on Doctor Phill who was saying "cash me ousside" when people were talking smack.


Life liberty, and the pursuit of those who threaten them.

Trump: not the president America needs, but the president America deserves.
Re: Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160317
04/29/2017 04:53 AM
04/29/2017 04:53 AM
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West
Archangel1 Offline
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The link didn't work.


"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always Bad Men." Lord Actin 1887

I fear we live in evil times...
Re: Judge Declares Mistrial in First Bundy Ranch Standoff Case #160318
04/29/2017 05:30 AM
04/29/2017 05:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 22,785
Tulsa
airforce Online content OP
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airforce  Online Content OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Archangel1:
The link didn't work.
Strange... That article has apparently been taken down, and I can't find it on the internet anywhere. Someone must have the full article, I'll keep looking.

In any event, here\'s an earlier article about Dan Love, from a couple months ago .

Onward and upward,
airforce


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