Bundy Charges Dismissed with Prejudice

From AZCentral.com Jan. 8, 2018

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a militia member will not face a retrial on charges that they led an armed rebellion against federal agents in 2014.

A federal judge on Monday said the federal prosecutors’ conduct was “outrageous” and “violated due process rights” of the defendants.

U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the charges against the four men “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot face trial again. She said a new trial would not be sufficient to address the problems in the case and would provide the prosecution with an unfair advantage going forward.

The judge criticized both the prosecution and the FBI for not providing evidence to the defense as required under court rules. “The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated,” Navarro said…

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Related:

USA Today: Cliven Bundy-FBI Debacle: Another Example of Why the Feds Need to Be Leashed

Judge Declares Mistrial in Bundy Ranch Trial

From AZ Central:

A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, saying U.S. prosecutors willfully withheld critical and “potentially exculpatory” evidence from the defense.

Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed jurors Wednesday, several weeks after the trial began against Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and militia member Ryan Payne, who were accused of leading an armed standoff with federal land agents in 2014.

Navarro cited five key pieces of information that prosecutors did not disclose: records about surveillance and snipers at the Bundy Ranch; unredacted FBI logs about activity at the ranch in the days around the standoff; threat assessments about the Bundys dating to 2012; and internal affairs reports about the BLM.

Withheld evidence at issue

Navarro methodically laid out her reasoning for about an hour, citing legal standards and case law, before delivering her ruling.

She said the evidence that was withheld could have been favorable to the accused and could have affected the outcome of the case.

Navarro stopped short of dismissing charges against the four men. It is unclear whether the case will be retried because Navarro did not rule whether the mistrial was with or without prejudice.

She has set another hearing for January and has tentatively scheduled a new trial to begin Feb. 26.

Navarro suspended the trial two weeks ago and warned of a potential mistrial after prosecutors for the first time disclosed several documents that appeared to support defense claims about the government’s use of video surveillance and sniper teams during the standoff.

Prosecutors have long maintained the FBI was not involved in the standoff and that no video surveillance or sniper teams were used. They charged defendants with making false claims about snipers and videos to incite militia in the runup to the standoff.

Lawyers raise self-defense

Documents turned over by the prosecution after the start of the trial indicated the FBI played an active role in the standoff and that surveillance cameras and armed tactical teams were positioned around the Bundy Ranch.

Defense lawyers filed motions to dismiss the case, arguing the new documents provided critical evidence that would have allowed them to challenge the government’s charges, impeach government witnesses and lay the foundation for self-defense claims.

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No Guilty Verdicts in Bundy Ranch Trial

From AZCentral, Bundy Ranch standoff trial ends with zero guilty verdicts

 A federal jury in Las Vegas did not return any guilty verdicts Tuesday against four men accused of taking up arms against federal agents during the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014.

Jurors dealt government prosecutors a stinging defeat in the case when, after four days of deliberations, they returned not-guilty verdicts on the most serious charges and deadlocked on a handful of others.

Richard Lovelien of Oklahoma and Steven Stewart of Idaho were acquitted on all counts and walked out of court Tuesday night free after spending more than a year in prison…

Two other defendants, Eric Parker and O. Scott Drexler, both of Idaho, were acquitted on the most serious charges of conspiracy and extortion, but jurors failed to reach unanimous verdicts on weapons and assault charges…

This marks the second time a jury failed to convict the defendants on charges related to the standoff…

A jury in April deadlocked on charges against the four men. It convicted two other defendants on multiple counts. But it could not agree on conspiracy charges — a key component of the government’s case — against any of the six.

The government launched its second prosecution last month. The case climaxed Aug. 11 when Navarro abruptly ended court by ordering Parker off the stand and striking his testimony from the record as jurors watched.

The defendant was attempting to tell jurors what he saw during the standoff over a barrage of objections from prosecutors. Navarro ruled Parker violated court orders by discussing prohibited topics. Parker returned to the defense table and started crying while Navarro dismissed the jurors.

Marchese said jurors told him Tuesday the incident was a factor in their verdicts.

“That weighed heavily in their decision,” Marchese said. “They wanted to hear him speak. It was very bothersome to them. They felt like they weren’t getting the whole story.”

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