Jon Ritzheimer, a military veteran who led and recruited others to the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and must spend another 12 months in a residential re-entry program, a federal judge ordered Thursday.
Ritzheimer, dressed in a blue suit and tie with a band of military medals from his two tours of Marine Corps Reserve duty in Iraq pinned to his jacket, apologized to the judge and those impacted by the 41-day occupation of the federal bird sanctuary in Harney County.
“I did read through the victim reports, and I do believe people were genuinely afraid,” he said. “It absolutely was not my intent for anyone to feel that way…I am extremely sorry for this entire mess.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel urged U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown to sentence Ritzheimer to two years in prison, citing his leadership and “aggravating” role in the occupation.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal judge offered to release a rancher and states’ rights figure from custody during his trial on charges involving an armed standoff that stopped a government cattle roundup three years ago in Nevada.
But Cliven Bundy refused to leave jail while others are still behind bars awaiting trial in the case.
Bundy, 71, didn’t state his reason in court Wednesday. But his wife, Carol Bundy, noted in a courthouse hallway that two other sons, Mel and David Bundy, are approaching two years in federal detention.
Ammon Bundy, on trial with his rancher father Cliven Bundy, was released from jail Thursday morning.
A crowd of about 50 supporters and family members, including Ammon Bundy’s wife and six children, cheered and hugged him as he walked out of the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas.
His brother, Ryan, another defendant facing a jury on charges connected with the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville, was among those in the crowd. The two hugged briefly before Ammon Bundy spoke with reporters.
“Freedom is important,” he said, wearing a blue-and-white plaid shirt, bluejeans and orange sandals. “It’s important because of our families. It’s important because of the great things we enjoy every day as Americans. America has always been an example of freedom, an example of family, an example of what’s good in this world. And really all my family has ever tried to do is just promote that.”
The Bundy trial continues into its next phase in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cliven Bundy, with sons Ryan and Ammon, and their co-defendant Ryan Payne, face felony charges that could result in over 100 years in prison for each.
Directly after opening statements, the prosecution “opened” its case against the Bundy’s and Payne. The prosecution will be in charge of much of the narrative in the next month or two until they “rest” their case. They will be calling the witnesses who are most favorable to the governments theory; usually government employees of the BLM, FBI and other law enforcement agencies. The defendants will be allowed to cross-examine the governments witnesses. The Bundy’s and Payne will have their turn to “open” their case after the government has “rested” theirs.
Several defense attorneys from the first Oregon refuge occupation trial have written memos supporting Ammon Bundy’s lawyer in his fight with the federal court over his behavior during and at the end of the trial when he was tackled by federal marshals and stunned with a Taser.
The attorneys praised Marcus Mumford for his demeanor, said he didn’t have enough time to prepare for the trial but was a zealous advocate for his client. Some wrote that U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown was especially tough on Mumford, and there was longstanding animosity between Mumford and the marshals before the physical confrontation.
Mumford faced criminal charges after deputy marshals tackled him in the courtroom and took him into custody following the announcement of not guilty verdicts on Oct. 27, 2016, but prosecutors later dropped them. Mumford had shouted at the judge, argued for Ammon Bundy’s release and demanded to see a detention order from Nevada.
Complaint Meant to Force AG Sessions To Review and Dismiss Charges
(Washington, D.C., November 10, 2017). Today, Larry Klayman, the founder of both Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, announced a lawsuit filed in his private capacity on behalf of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who stood up to government tyranny under the Obama administration. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Case No. 1:17-cv-02429) against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray in their official capacities, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Inspector General (IG) over their failure to conduct an investigation into the bad faith and gross prosecutorial abuse by federal prosecutors and the destruction and hiding of material exculpatory evidence by the DOJ, FBI and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the ongoing criminal prosecution.
Todd Engel is a Political Prisoner being held for his role in the Bunkerville Standoff Trial.
Engel attempted to represent himself after receiving a court appointed attorney that reportedly fell asleep during the trial.
This was allowed for a short time, until Engel mentioned the forbidden name of Dan Love. Judge Gloria Navarro immediately stripped Engel of his right to self-representation for mentioning the name of the disgraced Special Agent in Charge during the Standoff. Love has since been fired from the BLM.
Engel was convicted of two lesser offenses. He was not convicted of either Conspiracy charge, nor any gun-related charges. He is scheduled for sentencing on December 22, 2017.
Engel should be nearing his release date, as the charges he was convicted of do not have mandatory minimums or long sentencing recommendations. But the government have released new recommendations for him that include guidelines for charges of which he was never convicted.
The third Bunkerville Standoff Trail in Las Vegas has been delayed for several motions to be resolved before opening arguments.
Thursday saw a pre-trial detention release hearing for the four defendants, Cliven Bundy, his two sons Ryan and Ammon, as well as defendant Ryan Payne.
Bret Whipple, attorney for Cliven Bundy, argued for release of his client citing his age and failing health. The elder Bundy has noticeably weakened since his incarceration nearly two years ago.
Whipple told the court of Bundy’s dental problems, noting that the 71-year-old has had to pull several of his own teeth in his attempts to stop infections. Dental care is minimal in the CCA detention center.
Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Bundy, and co-defendant Ryan Payne are accused of conspiring to block federal agents from enforcing court orders when the BLM tried to confiscate Cliven Bundy’s cattle. The cattle were on public land where the ranch had grazing and water rights since the late 1800’s. The government’s actions resulted in the deaths of approximately 100 head of cattle and the destruction of the Bundy’s livestock watering system built throughout the last century.
The four defendants have been incarcerated since January of 2016. They were each charged with 10 felonies. Each man could be sentenced to more than a hundred years in prison for their involvement while resisting the confiscation. The men are brought to court in shackles and each man has had a significant weight loss since their incarceration. All their motions for pretrial releases have been denied.
The government prosecutors in the Bunkerville Standoff Trial in Las Vegas have been recording the privileged phone meetings between the defendants and their attorneys, according to a filing by Ryan Payne.
The motion to dismiss, filed yesterday November 8th, states that the government collected privileged attorney-client phone calls from an incarcerated defendant and then denied possessing such privileged materials.
On September 11, 2017, the government disclosed hundreds of phone calls including calls made from jail by co-defendant Blaine Cooper and the attorney representing him.
LAS VEGAS — A judge declined Thursday to release Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy days before trial, concerned he still doesn’t recognize federal authority and has a large incentive to flee with at least 80 years in prison hanging over his head if convicted of four of his 16 charges.
U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro also rejected release requests by Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne and said she would make a decision later on Ammon Bundy.
Bret O. Whipple, the attorney representing the elder Bundy on charges in the 2014 standoff near Bunkerville, urged consideration for the patriarch’s age, his failing health and the reduced weight of evidence against him after unsuccessful conspiracy prosecutions against others in the case.
“He refers to himself as an old cow,” Whipple said, noting that the 71-year-old Bundy arrived in custody with 20 teeth and now has 10 to 15 teeth left because infections are treated by pulling teeth in jail and not with dental care.
“It’s been hard on him and his health has really deteriorated,” Whipple said.
LAS VEGAS — Prosecutors in the Bundy trial must provide information by noon Saturday on all armed federal officers who did surveillance outside the Bundy ranch and any cameras capturing images of the Bundy home between March 1 and April 12, 2014, a judge ordered Wednesday.
The information must be turned over to the defense.
It could help Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy and co-defendant Ryan Payne challenge the allegation that they used “deceit and deception” to encourage supporters to come to the ranch by saying the house was surrounded, federal snipers were outside the home and the family felt isolated.
Defense lawyers said they learned for the first time on Tuesday of two federal officers dressed in camouflage and armed with AR-15 rifles posted outside the Bundy residence at night.
That information was contained in a written report that they received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in preparation for Wednesday’s hearing on disputed discovery evidence.
“Wouldn’t it be important for the defense to know FBI agents are overlooking the Bundy residence with an AR-15?” asked Brenda Weksler, one of Payne’s defense lawyers. “How do we not have this until yesterday?”
Caution: Following the Bunkerville standoff trial proceedings can cause whiplash.
Today the federal judge again delayed the start of the trial for Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and self-styled militia member Ryan Payne. This time for a week. She agreed to hold hearings after Cliven Bundy’s attorney asked the charges be dropped because the prosecution had failed to reveal any recordings or notes taken off live surveillance video of the Bundy ranch during the April 2014 standoff. Ryan Bundy raised the question as to whether there was surveillance video several weeks ago.
“If it has potentially useful information, then the defense is entitled to it,” the judge is quoted by Reuters as saying. “I‘m not convinced that it doesn’t exist.”
The federal agents reportedly shredded documents after the standoff ended.
In the years, months and days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in my native city of Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776, King George III, having issued one unjust if not illegal edict after another, having unfairly prosecuted a number of key American colonialists, having severely taxed the people and having attempted to seize the firearms of citizenry so they could not rise up and challenge his will, invidiously took the criminal justice system back to the Court of King James, depriving the colonies of their own justice system. These were among the primary reasons our Founding Father’s and their colonies broke from the Crown, waged war to reassert their hoped for freedoms and conceived of and created a new nation.
Thomas Jefferson, perhaps our greatest Founding Father and president, predicted at the time that Americans would periodically have to renew their freedoms and wage periodic revolutions, even spilling blood if necessary. He and his colleagues knew that the tendency of mankind is to fall back to the despotic and corrupt ways of the British monarchy, and thus there needed to be constant vigilance and sacrifice in the future to preserve their God-inspired vision.
Todd Engel is one of the Bunkerville defendants that will face Judge Gloria Navarro in a sentencing hearing.
Out of a 16-count indictment, Engel was charged with 10 counts and convicted of 2 counts after his trial earlier this year.
These are the least serious of all the charges, and do not carry enhancements or mandatory minimum sentencing.
Greg Burleson was also convicted during the same trial, though he was convicted of 8 of 10 charges, including enhancements.
A federal jury is set to begin hearing opening statements Tuesday in the trial of four defendants in the Bunkerville standoff.
There are six women and six men on the jury and there are four alternates, three men, and a woman.
The judge said the trial is expected to take four months. A number of potential jurors were dismissed because they could not take four months out of their lives to devote to the trial. How many people can or are willing to? Is it a jury of their peers?
On trial is rancher Cliven Bundy, 71, sons Ammon Bundy, 42, and Ryan Bundy, 45, and a self-styled militia member Ryan Payne, 34, who showed up to protest the confiscation of Bundy’s cattle by the BLM. They are charged with conspiracy, extortion and various firearm charges. They have all been jailed for going on two years.
Cliven Bundy, lead defendant in a case stemming from a 2014 standoff with federal agents and the 71-year-old patriarch of a family with roots in the southeastern Nevada desert since the state was founded more than 150 years ago, won’t let his lawyer buy him a suit for trial.
Instead of the standard slacks, button-down shirt and tie that incarcerated male defendants often don while facing a jury, the recalcitrant rancher plans to wear a jail-issued blue jumpsuit and orange flip-flops when he faces potential jurors for the first time on Monday morning.
“He is so principled that he’s going to do what he’s going to do, which is tell the truth and tell it as he sees it, and he’s not worried about the consequences, other than the people around him,” his lawyer, Bret Whipple, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week. “He refuses to put on civilian clothing because it would be misleading the jury, because he is who he is.”
Bundy, his two sons Ryan and Ammon and independent militia leader Ryan Payne have been locked up without bail in a federal holding facility for nearly two years. They face the potential of decades behind bars if convicted of conspiracy and other charges related to the armed standoff.
It has been rumored that the Bundy Families have engaged a professional Public Relations expert to provide once-daily Trial Updates during the upcoming trial. These updates are expected to be shorter and more concise than typical updates that we have seen in the past and by others. It is understood, that it is not desired to replace others that have been providing updates in the past or recently. The intent is to, provide not only an official source, but also a shorter and more to the point update that can be viewed quickly and not require a viewer to listen […]
The Trial of the Century has gotten a little bit smaller.
Currently, 6 men are expected to be tried in the Bunkerville Standoff trial expected to begin jury selection on October 30th. Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, as well as Ryan Payne are ready. Eric Parker and Scott Drexler are scheduled for their third trial, after two previous trials this year resulting in acquittals and deadlocked verdicts.
But Parker and Drexler have been offered plea agreements by the government that will allow them to close the book on this chapter of their lives.
Five months after Kathryn Steinle was slain on San Francisco’s waterfront, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management promoted the law enforcement ranger whose unsecured stolen gun was used to kill her, according to an internal BLM email obtained by KQED.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an undocumented Mexican national, is expected to go on trial in San Francisco next week on a charge of murder in Steinle’s killing. Conservative lawmakers have seized on Garcia Zarate’s history of deportations and illegal re-entry into the U.S. — plus San Francisco’s policy that ignored a detention request from immigration authorities — to fuel a political assault on so-called sanctuary cities.
October 10, 2017, New York, NY – Today, the Supreme Court denied a petition by private prison corporations seeking to block the release of government documents about their immigration detention practices. In a case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Detention Watch Network (DWN), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a federal district court ruled in July 2016, that the government must release details of its contracts with private prison corporations. The government chose not to appeal; instead, the country’s two largest private prison corporations, GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), recently rebranded as “CoreCivic,” intervened to appeal the decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed their petition in February. GEO then petitioned the Supreme Court for a full review of the case, asking for the right to prevent the government from releasing information under the FOIA.
Two newly filed lawsuits against the white nationalists and others who descended on Charlottesville during a summer rally aim to prevent the type of violent chaos that unfolded from happening again.
One of the lawsuits was filed Thursday in Charlottesville Circuit Court on behalf of the city, local businesses and neighborhood associations. It accuses organizers of the August “Unite the Right” rally, leading figures in the white nationalist movement and their organizations, as well as private militia groups and their leaders, of violating Virginia law by organizing and acting as paramilitary units.
It doesn’t seek monetary damages but asks for a court order prohibiting “illegal paramilitary activity.”
“Touted as an opportunity to protest the removal of a controversial Confederate statue, the event quickly escalated well beyond such constitutionally protected expression,” the lawsuit says. “Instead, private military forces transformed an idyllic college town into a virtual combat zone.”
We previously reported on a motion filed by Ryan Bundy to have Judge Gloria Navarro recused from the Bunkerville Standoff case.
This motion is based on the premise that public perception is heavily against Navarro. It goes to the general consensus throughout the country that activist Judge Navarro is using her authority to further her agenda by blatantly ruling in favor of the prosecution and against the defense.
The motion was based on dozens of articles from both alternative media and Main Stream media. Sites including Redoubt News, as well as the Las Vegas Review Journal and the New York Times, are reporting that the story has now become about Judge Navarro and her obvious bias, instead of what actually happened on April 12, 2014.
This is a powerful motion. This argument does not address whether or not Navarro is actually biased, it only references the public perception of her bias. This goes to the growing lack of trust the citizens in the country have against the federal judicial system and, by extension, the Federal government.
Ken Medenbach will get his wish to attend part of the Bundy trial in Nevada.
A federal judge this week granted his request, with a list of conditions recommended by federal prosecutors.
The judge said Medenbach’s trip can last seven days to attend the start of the Nevada trial against Cliven Bundy, his two sons Ryan Bundy and Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne and two other co-defendants. Pete Santilli reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was released from custody last week.
U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane set other conditions for Medenbach: He can’t wear or display any clothing or buttons with messages while in the federal courtroom, noting that he was ordered to remove one that read “jury nullification” and “not guilty” during the Oregon refuge occupation trial.