First they lost the Oregon trial of seven defendants including Ammon and Ryan Bundy in Oregon. Now they tried six defendants in Las Vegas, which took two months. The government presented 35 witnesses, including police officers and federal agents who sometimes became emotional describing fears that they wouldn’t make it home from the standoff alive. Could these have been crocodile tears? It seems like the jury discounted these alleged fears based on their verdict. it took two years to bring charges in the Bunkerville case and three years to bring…
Full disclosure! I represent Bryan Cavalier AKA Buddha Bear who was Cliven Bundy’s bodyguard, in the third group of Defendants in the case. So these verdicts gratified me. My client was not at the wash or the bridge where the standoffs occurred. Did he have a gun? Yes! It was in a holster in plain view. Nevada is an open carry state, which means it is legal to carry a firearm in plain view, but NOT concealed. He never pointed a gun, he never waved a gun. He never brandished a gun. The Second Amendment guarantees all of us the right to bear arms. (Or as Larry the cable Guy says, the right to Bare Arms.)
It’s a Mistrial
Federal judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial (essentially a do-over), Monday, April 24, 2107 in the first Las Vegas Bunkerville standoff case, which targeted six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy to derail a court-ordered cattle seizure in 2014.The mistrial — an anticlimactic end to a highly-anticipated trial — was declared hours after the jury convicted two men of some of the 10 counts in the superseding indictment. The Us Attorney’s office could just let this go and not re-prosecute them (highly unlikely), or re-prosecute all of them on the same charges (which will probably happen).
Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre, who took over as the top federal prosecutor in Nevada halfway through the trial, declined to comment. Myhre said prosecutors have not decided whether they will retry the six men. If anyone believes that the Government will not retry these defendants, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would like to sell you.
In returning the guilty verdicts, which still stand, jurors informed the court they were “hopelessly deadlocked” on the remaining counts and defendants. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro sent them back to the deliberation room in a last-ditch effort to encourage them to reach a more complete verdict. “The court does accept the verdicts you have reached,” Judge Navarro said, before sending them back to deliberate. But then she declared a mistrial.
NO! I Don’t Agree With Either Of You!
But in the end, the jury was at an impasse — unable to unanimously choose a side in the deeply divided case. The defendants are each facing 10 counts Jurors found Todd Engel guilty on two counts for obstruction and crossing state lines to take part in the standoff. Gregory Burleson, a former FBI informant, was found guilty on eight counts. Jurors could not reach a verdict on the other defendants Eric Parker, O. Scott Drexler, Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart. Jurors also couldn’t reach a decision on the other 2 counts for Burleson and 8 counts for Engel (10 down, 50 to go). But No one was convicted of a conspiracy; a big blow for the Feds.
For those who don’t know that defendants in 93 percent of Federal criminal cases that proceed to trial are convicted, if you take into account guilty pleas, the conviction rate is astronomical. Hats off to these defendants who had the gumption, the moxie, and the fearlessness to proceed to trial when they were facing at least 70 years in prison. In the Federal system, there is no parole. When you get 70 years you do 70 years, less 54 days per year for good time. So if sentenced to 70 years, the Defendant would ONLY do 59.64 years. With Guilty pleas, at least 97.1 Federal criminal Defendants are found guilty! Against all odds these Defendants said, “Prove it!”
Life Goes On (But Behind Bars)
So, the Saga continues, The standoff, and then the trial three years later, pitted impassioned libertarian-minded protesters against the federal government. The protesters say they took up arms to defend their constitutional rights against what they viewed as a militant and aggressive federal police force. The federal government asserts there is no constitutional right to vigilante justice. One man’s terrorist is another man’s Freedom Fighter.
In the immortal words of Sims Luckett, “This country was neither founded nor freed by the well-behaved.” Can’t everyone just get along? Or as Shakespeare said, ‘Life’ is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing! It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!
For more information regarding Federal or Nevada laws, or if you feel your rights have been violated, please call Mace Yampolsky & Associates. Call us at (702) 385-9777. If you need help, CALL NOW before it is too late. We can help! We are available 24/7 for emergencies Contact us today.