Two Bundy Ranch defendants to face third trial
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recent developments have caused Trump supporters to ask why Attorney General Jeff Sessions is allowing Obama holdovers in the Department of Justice to continue prosecuting Bundy ranch cases, despite continuing set-backs.
On Thursday, Aug. 22, the Obama administration holdovers in the Department of Justice suffered a huge set-back in the trial of four defendants accused of various federal criminal charges over the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff ended with no convictions.
Two of the defendants were acquitted of all charges, while the remaining two defendants were acquitted of most charges.
With the “not guilty” verdict, the defendants Richard R. Lovelien and Stewart A. Stewart were acquitted of all charges, and released from federal prison in Nevada, after having been incarcerated without bail for some 18 months in federal prison awaiting trial.
The remaining two defendants, Eric Parker and Scott Drexler will be forced to endure yet a third trial, as the Obama administration holdover prosecutors decided to retry them yet a third trial on the remaining weapons charges on which no verdict was declared, reportedly because one of the 12 jurors in the second trial would not agree to a “not guilty” verdict.
In a move that has disappointed many of President Trump’s core base of conservative and libertarian supporters, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in a speech in Las Vegas on July 11, 2017, that he would not take sides or intervene to end any of the federal prosecutions brought by the Obama Justice Department over the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff.
At the trial, U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro had refused to allow attorneys for the defendants to present arguments regarding First Amendment free speech rights or Second Amendment rights to bear arms, ruling both lines of argumentation were not relevant to the criminal charges the four defendants faced.
Even more outrageous, Gerald “Jerry DeLemus of Rochester, New Hampshire, was sentenced to five years imprisonment after U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro refused to allow him to change his guilty plea to “not guilty.”
In denying DeLemus the right to change his plea, Judge Navarro ruled DeLemus had failed to display sufficient remorse for his actions, rejecting the argument his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated because DeLemus lacked adequate legal counsel capable of apprising him of the legal charges and assisting him in pleading with full knowledge of the facts and the law.
Sources close to the DeLemus family told Infowars.com that DeLemus wanted to change his plea and face trial because he came to the conclusion he would be acquitted on charges virtually identical to the charges all Lovelien, Steward, Parker, and Drexler successfully defended to be found “not guilty” in the jury verdict handed down Aug. 22.
In a pre-sentencing memorandum filed with Judge Navarro on May 27, 2017, defense attorneys argued that DeLemus, a 62-year-old resident of New Hampshire, had endured a difficult childhood growing up in abject poverty, but he had never broken the law.
DeLemus moved out and began living on his own at the age of 16, while still attending high school.
After graduation, he joined the Marine Corps, where he achieved the rank of Sergeant, earning two Good Conduct Medals, a Meritorious Mast, and a National Defense Service Medal.
“For the last forty-five years, DeLemus has supported himself and his family as a builder and contractor,” his attorneys pleaded. “He is devout in his faith and in support of his church. DeLemus regularly donates to charity, volunteers to assist the homeless, and sponsors needy families in foreign countries.”
While in custody, DeLemus was nominated for an award, along with a correctional officer, for administering CPR in an attempt to save the life of a fellow inmate.
The defense attorneys argued DeLemus should receive a minimum sentence because: (1.) he did not point a gun at anyone; (2.) he did not threaten anyone; (3.) he did not intimidate anyone; (4.) he was not present during the incident on April 12, 2014, from which most of the weapons charges emanated; (5.) he had no knowledge or involvement with the events of April 12, 2014; and (6) he did no harm to person or property.
In their pre-sentencing plea DeLemus’ attorneys argued as follows:
- DeLemus believes in Government, but as is required of all conscientious men, there is an obligation to do what you consider to be morally right. By its very nature, civil disobedience is an affront to civilized society. However, it is sometimes an absolute necessity for the individual to exercise his conscience and morality to reconfigure the relationship between the Individual and the State in a peaceful manner. In this case, DeLemus was under the mistaken but justifiable belief that an injustice was occurring and that law enforcement, the Bundy family, and their children, were in danger of harm if he did not act.
DeLemus decided to go to the Bundy Ranch after reading in early April 2014 a headline from the Drudge Report that read: “Heavily-Armed Feds Surround Nevada Ranch.”
His attorneys noted DeLemus “was surprised to see BLM agents in full tactical gear, carrying M-16’s, and holding snarling attack dogs while other agents tasered protesters and forcefully arrested members of the Bundy family.”
Defense attorneys further argued DeLeumus went to Nevada not to “fight” the BLM, but because he believed an injustice was being done by the federal government’s refusal to recognize ancestral and historical claims to the Bunkerville Allotment.
Formerly the co-chairman of the 2016 New Hampshire veterans coalition for Trump, DeLemus received a more harsh prison sentence than prosecutors requested, after Judge Navarro, sentencing DeLemus on May 31, 2017, characterized him as a “bully vigilante.”
Today seventeen people remain in federal custody awaiting trial over the Bundy Ranch standoff, including Clive Bundy himself and sons, Ammon and Ryan.
As Roger Stone has pointed out, an underlying factor in the Bundy Ranch case is that former Democratic Party Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted the Bundy Ranch land to install Chinese solar panels in a deal where the Chinese company seeking to build the solar panel plant had employed lawyer Rory Reid, the son of Sen. Reid, to be the primary representative for the U.S. corporation fronting the deal.
Now serving out the remaining six-years of his prison term, DeLemus was permanently moved in August to the federal prison at Fort Devens in Ayers, Massachusetts, some 90-minutes away from his home and his wife.
On Dec. 24, 2009, President Obama nominated Navarro to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Navarro was the hand-picked choice of former Sen. Harry Reid to fill the vacancy created by Judge Brian Sandoval.