The prosecutors broke the 17 defendants in the Bunkerville standoff into three groups. Six would be tried in April and the others — including 71-year-old rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons — would be tried shortly thereafter.
But in April the jurors convicted only two of the six of any charges. Jurors told defense lawyers after the trial they never came close to convicting four defendants, voting 10-2 in favor of acquitting two and splitting on the others.
The government decided to retry those four and rejected Cliven Bundy’s bid to move up his trial, saying he would have to wait in jail until after the retrial. That retrial ended this week with two of the four being acquitted and the remaining two acquitted of all but a handful of lesser charges. All have been freed.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal jury in Las Vegas refused Tuesday to convict four defendants who were retried on accusations that they threatened and assaulted federal agents by wielding assault weapons in a 2014 confrontation to stop a cattle roundup near the Nevada ranch of states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy.
In a stunning setback to federal prosecutors planning to try the Bundy family patriarch and two adult sons later this year, the jury acquitted Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.
More than 30 defendants’ supporters in the courtroom broke into applause after Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ordered Lovelien and Stewart freed immediately and set Wednesday morning hearings to decide if Parker and Drexler should remain jailed pending a government decision whether to seek a third trial.
The juror seems very highly prejudiced against firearms. A mistrial should have been declared.
The Bunkerville Retrial is on Day 23, with three full days of jury deliberations being completed. Today brought the principals together when two jury questions were presented to the court.
The questions centered around one, or more, juror’s beliefs that two other jurors could not be unbiased. The two questionable jurors were identified by numbers, 6 & 9.
Judge Gloria Navarro did not read the questions aloud, presumably to keep the public from hearing the exact wording, as the attorneys had already been given copies of the questions.
Those who have been watching the court rulings in the Bunkerville (“Bundy”) retrial have been scratching their heads at some of the rulings of Judge Gloria Navarro in the case. The Judge appears to consider any evidence of guilt to be relevant while considering any mitigating evidence or evidence of circumstances to be irrelevant.
Examples of this ‘rule’ in play are numerous. When a BLM agent named Alexandra Burke took the stand for the prosecution, she was allowed to sob wildly and say that she saw a man with a black hat with a white emblem [defendant Eric Parker] standing and pointing a rifle directly at her from over the concrete barrier of the northbound bridge of I-15. No photos or video substantiate Burke’s claim, and most observers believe Burke was lying and probably following instructions to lie from prosecutors. Dozens if not hundreds of sources were taking pictures and video of the area at the time, and there were Nevada Highway Patrolmen on that very bridge at the time (with two rolling dash-cams of the bridge). The troopers who surely would have made an arrest if they saw or heard that Parker was shouldering and pointing his weapon directly at BLM agents to the left.
OPINION – Our news cycle was dominated this past week by the birth announcement of a destructive, tantrum-prone love child sired by masked socialist activists and their national socialist counterparts.
While the public’s attention is focused on whether this little monster looks more like its mother or its father, a very real injustice is taking place just out of view.
The highly publicized, and sometimes blatantly distorted, narrative of events at Bundy Ranch three years ago made the Bundys a household name. No matter which version you choose to believe, it’s safe to say that what happened at Bunkerville was likely the most significant act of armed civil disobedience in the past 150 years.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a lawsuit Monday against the Justice Department and FBI in an effort to pry loose documents related to the FBI’s prior impersonation of documentary filmmakers.
The FBI has admitted to sending undercover agents to Nevada in 2014 to act as a film crew and interview supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy amid an armed standoff with the federal government.
Footage shot for the fake documentary was later used by the government during criminal trials of some of those involved in the standoff.
The reporter’s committee sought through Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain FBI records regarding the bogus film crew as well as any records on the bureau’s use of the tactic dating back to 2010. The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comes after the committee said the FBI has failed to act on the FOIA requests.
Judge Gloria Navarro has had a difficult time getting the defendants and spectators to understand that Jury Nullification is, well… a bad thing. She has made her rulings. She has given her orders. She has specifically forbidden nullification from being used in the case of US v. Bundy et. al. She has not, however, said that jury nullification is illegal.
In fact, Nullification is legal. As much as Gloria Navarro would like the jurors to believe otherwise, and that they can be punished for not returning a verdict she approves of, the standard has been in place for nearly 350 years.
After more than two days of deliberation, jurors are expected to return Monday in the retrial of four men facing federal charges in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville.
On Tuesday, the panel of six women and six men started deliberating the charges against Idaho men Steven Stewart, Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, and Montana resident Ricky Lovelien. Jurors were sent home at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday and are expected to resume deliberations Monday morning, defense attorneys said.
During closing arguments this week, prosecutors pointed to social media posts in which the men discussed the activities in the rural Nevada town, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. On a video played for jurors, rancher Cliven Bundy spoke to a crowd outside his ranch, encouraging his followers to do what they needed to do to retrieve his cattle from the Bureau of Land Management.
Andrea Parker was surrounded by friends and well-wishers outside the Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas today.
Waiting on a jury to decide her husband’s fate, she spent the day in handcuffs protesting the rulings of Judge Gloria Navarro.
The week brought a crowd of hundreds of people from around the country to rally and show their frustration at the Constitutional rights being denied to four men on trial this month.
Eric Parker was removed from the witness stand and his testimony stricken by Judge Navarro earlier this week. She denied him his right to testify in his own defense because she did not want the Federal law enforcement officers to look bad in front of the jury.
The jurors are now deliberating, having received the case on Tuesday.
The Bunkerville Retrial has gone to the jury to begin their deliberations.
The defense case has been wrought with drama. Judge Gloria Navarro began by forcing the defense witnesses to proffer, or preview, their testimony out of the jury’s hearing. After 4 witnesses testified via SKYPE last week, including a witness that previously was called by the prosecution, Navarro ruled that none of them could testify.
Navarro made the ruling based on her belief that the witnesses were only there to bolster a self-defense claim. She ruled previously that this was not a valid defense in this case.
The following day, Eric Parker attempted to testify in his own defense, as is his right to do. After a few questions, Navarro stopped him from testifying, had him removed from the witness stand, and had his testimony completely stricken from the official court record. She instructed the jury to disregard his testimony, as if he had never been on the witness stand.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — In a dramatic end to a contentious trial, defense attorneys declined Tuesday to make closing arguments on behalf of four men accused of wielding assault weapons against federal agents in a 2014 standoff near Nevada anti-government figure Cliven Bundy’s ranch.
The move left defendants Eric Parker, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien of Montana and Oklahoma essentially mute in answer to 10 felony charges including conspiracy, weapon possession and assault on a federal officer.
Defendant Scott Drexler of Idaho testified in his defense on Monday.
Parker testified last week, but Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ordered him off the witness stand and struck his testimony from the record for what she said was a deliberate failure to keep his testimony within bounds of rules she set to keep the focus on what the defendants saw and did during the confrontation, not what they felt or why they acted.
Defense attorneys sat silently Tuesday, rather than give closing arguments for the four men facing a retrial in the Bundy Ranch standoff.
Hamstrung throughout the trial by a judge’s decision to limit the witnesses they could call, the questions they could ask and the testimony their clients could give, the lawyers made the final decision, a statement of sorts, after discussing the option with the defendants — Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien — during a lunch break.
“It was a strategic decision,” said lawyer Jess Marchese, who represents Parker. “We thought we gained more by not giving a closing argument than the government giving a rebuttal.”
Defendants waived closing arguments Tuesday in the Bundy Ranch standoff trial in Las Vegas, ending a monthlong legal battle with a clear protest about court proceedings.
Lawyers for the four men charged in the 2014 clash among federal agents, militia members and cattle ranchers took the unusual step of resting their cases without a final address to the jury.
“The message is simple,” Las Vegas lawyer Shawn Perez said Tuesday afternoon. “You silenced us the entire trial … there’s nothing more to say.”
The move was part of a strategy to deprive federal prosecutors of an opportunity to make rebuttal arguments and to end the case while it was in the hands of the defense, said Perez, who represents defendant Richard Lovelien of Oklahoma.
Last week showed mayhem in the Judge Gloria Navarro’s courtroom in Las Vegas. The defense attempted to call defendant Eric Parker to the witness stand to testify in his own defense.
The prosecution showed their paranoia when they began their objections nearly immediately. Judge Navarro had laid out guidelines for Parker’s testimony that focused on not allowing the Federal agents to be placed in a bad light. She has insisted that there is no self-defense allowed when the ‘victim’ is a federal agent or law enforcement officer. She claims there is no evidence that these agents used excessive force on April 12, 2014.
However, though she has allowed these agents to cry on the witness stand to emphasize their fear of the protesters, she has put her iron fist down about the defendants doing the same. Navarro allowed the prosecution to object to Parker using the words “snipers” and the “First Amendment Zone”.
By David Ferrara Las Vegas Review-Journal August 14, 2017 Scott Drexler tucked the butt of his AR-15 into his shoulder and slipped the barrel through a crack in a wall along a northbound Interstate 15 bridge in Bunkerville. Under the southbound lanes, less than a couple of hundred yards away, Bureau of Land Management agents stood behind white trucks on the other side of a cattle fence. Dozens of people moved toward the agents in the midst of the 2014 standoff. And on Monday, the day before attorneys were scheduled to give closing arguments in the retrial of four men […]
Restrictions placed by a federal judge on what defendants can say about being at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014 are leading to tense moments in the Las Vegas retrial of four men accused of wielding assault-style weapons to stop federal agents from rounding up cattle belonging to the anti-government figure.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro refused Monday to order a mistrial sought by the defense attorney for Eric Parker, a defendant who Navarro ordered off the witness stand last week before telling the jury to disregard his testimony.
Such a dramatic step involving a defendant in the presence of a jury is unusual and might draw scrutiny from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, said Robert Draskovich, a Las Vegas lawyer who said he had never heard of such a move in more than two decades practicing in federal courts. Draskovich is not involved in the Bundy case.
The bedrock of our judicial system is under attack in this Las Vegas Federal Courtroom.
During the first trial of the Bunkerville defendants, this past March, Judge Gloria Navarro made the specific point to Todd Engel that, in her courtroom, defendants have only three rights.
In happened after Engel, who was representing himself as was his right to do, asked the unforgivable question, “Is it true that [Special Agent In Charge] Dan Love is under criminal investigation?”
The prosecution threw fits, yelling objections. Navarro not only sustained their objections but stripped Engel of his right to self-representation. Navarro told Engel that he had lost his privilege to self-representation and was no longer allowed to talk in her courtroom.
The judge in the trial of four defendants in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff with BLM agents attempting to confiscate rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle has made it clear she will not allow a defense based on First or Second Amendment rights or claims that BLM misbehavior provoked the protest.
On Thursday she cut short the testimony of defendant Eric Parker after he tried to mention in his defense testimony a “First Amendment area” the BLM had set up to isolate protesters — an area that Gov. Brian Sandoval said “tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution” — and attempted to mention where a BLM sniper was positioned.
Prisoners in Pahrump, Nevada’s CoreCivic operated Federal Detention Center, who have been in other facilities previously with remote Video Chat ability, may feel differently in spite of the cost. Not having it, except for locally at the facility, means families must travel to the southern Nevada desert just to see them on Video.
Jerry DeLemus, the 62-year-old Rochester man serving a six-year prison term for his role in Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff in 2014 has been permanently moved to the federal prison at Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass., his wife said.
Former state Rep. Susan DeLemus said she hasn’t spoken to her husband for nine days while he’s been “quarantined” and processed since his move from a Nevada prison to Devens, 90 minutes from their home.
“Never in my life would I ever think I would be happy my husband was in a prison of any kind, but I am happy he will be in Devens permanently now so I can see him,” Mrs. DeLemus said during a telephone interview.
A federal judge in Las Vegas cut short the testimony of an Idaho gun enthusiast in the middle of his Bunkerville standoff retrial Thursday.
Eric Parker was photographed in April 2014 pointing a long gun through a barrier on an Interstate 15 overpass that overlooked a sandy ditch where protesters had gathered to face Bureau of Land Management agents.
Prosecutors first objected to Parker’s testimony about 20 minutes after he took the stand and uttered the words “First Amendment.”
Before the start of the second trial for Parker, a married father of two, and three other men, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro barred the defense from referencing constitutional rights to freely assemble and to bear arms. She also prohibited mention of alleged misconduct or excessive force by law enforcement.
PROVOCATION BY THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT A DEFENSE. IT IS IRRELEVANT AND ONLY GOES TO JURY NULLIFICATION. ~JUDGE NAVARRO
The Retrial of Defendants Eric Parker, Steven Stewart, Scott Drexler, and Ricky Lovelein took a decided twist today in a Las Vegas Federal courtroom.
The defense had already been shot down by Judge Gloria Navarro. Yesterday, the day was spent previewing the defense witness testimony and Navarro refused to allow their witnesses to take the stand. She called the testimony “Not Relevant”. She has made it clear that there is no such thing as self defense against the government, or that of defending anyone else against the government. Law enforcement cannot be considered to use “excessive” force in this case. She believes that if any of this is brought to the jury, they may acquit for “jury nullification”. Navarro seems to have a pathological fear of jury nullification. It was left to Parker to take the stand in his own defense.
The Bunkerville Retrial in Las Vegas has taken yet another turn for the worst. Judge Gloria Navarro allowed the defense to proffer several witnesses via SKYPE today. The testimony was taken out of the hearing of the jury so that she might determine if the testimony is relevant.
Included in this group was former FOX News reporter Dennis Michael Lynch, and a few citizens that were actually in the wash on April 12, 2014.
Each of the witnesses testified to the fear they felt that day watching the multiple law enforcement agencies point guns at them and hearing statements on the loudspeakers that the BLM had been given authority to shoot the protesters.
“If you move forward you can be shot,” Lynch said, reciting the message.
“I thought we might die in the wash that day,” Kenneth Rhoades testified.
The same testimony was repeated throughout the day. However, when it was all said and done, Judge Navarro said that this testimony was not relevant to the case so she will not allow it to be presented to the jury.
With the jury box empty, defense attorneys called four witnesses Wednesday in the retrial of four Bunkerville standoff defendants.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro allowed three men and one woman, each of whom attended the April 2014 protest, to give proffer statements or a preview of what they might tell a jury. But the judge ruled that jurors should not hear their testimony because none of them offered evidence of self-defense the men on trial hoped to claim.
All of the witnesses testified via Skype.