Court Gives Government 3 Days To Respond
On 27 January 2017, Parker, Drexler, and Stewart motioned to exclude from trial photos taken showing them on the NB I-15 bridge on Saturday, 12 April 2014. Their counsel argues that the opening in the jersey barrier is only 1.5 inches wide. Subsequently, no agent under the SB I-15 bridge would have been able to perceive an imminent threat from any of the three. In addition, Stewart didn’t surface in any agency reports until after photographs of the trio circulated widely in the media. The Court ruled that the Government will have until 07 February 2017 to respond making a bridge photos ruling imminent.
Photos are likely prejudicial…
The motion argues that court precedent requires someone to perceive threat in order to be a victim of assault. Parker and Drexler’s defensive posture do not meet the standard for what the Court defines as assault. Further, jury instructions historically require that an alleged victim perceive threat or imminent harm. From the filing:
Mr. Drexler, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stewart seek to prevent the United States from entering any photographs depicting them aiming their rifles at any persons and because none of these persons (and consequently, none of the witnesses) were aware of the defendants doing so. If one is unaware of being in a position of harm, that person cannot be the victim of assault, threats, obstruction, extortion, impeding or the alleged brandishing of a firearm in furtherance thereof.
The chess match for evidence…
The Government seeks to preclude defendants from introducing critical elements of their defense. Specifically, the Government motioned to preclude any mention of militarized police presence. Similarly, The Government wishes to preclude any mention of Federal Agent misconduct. These points are integral to the establishment of the defendant’s state of mind. Simply stated, it explains why they took a defensive posture.
Discovery evidence doesn’t support the notion that any Federal Agents knew that Parker and Drexler took a defensive posture. The Government would like to use the single snapshot of these men prone on the bridge to proffer (propose) that they did so in furtherance of the embellished criminal indictment levied against them. Consequently, inclusion of these photos could be prejudicial if introduced as evidence.
Bridge Photos Ruling Imminent
Motions to dismiss because of SAC Dan Love’s behavior have not yet received a ruling. Outright dismissal seems unlikely. With jury selection beginning in just two days, the Court requests an expedited response from the Government.
The case will rise and fall on what the jury sees. This will be a watershed ruling.