Four Bundy standoff participants released – some acquitted, others partly acquitted
August 22, 2017
Update: Eric Parker and Scott Drexler were released on recognizance but will be re-tried by the federal prosecutor beginning on Sept. 25., according to Montana attorney Roger Roots who was present for the judge's hearing Aug. 23, the day after the verdict was announced. This will be the third time the men will be tried for the same crime, after two hung juries have not convicted nor acquitted them on all counts.
All four of the men on retrial for their roles in the Bundy Ranch "standoff" on April 12, 2014, were released this evening, August 22.
Two of the men, Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart, were acquitted of all 10 charges, while two of the men were acquitted of some charges and the jury was hung on some charges.
According to Redoubt News, the jury was instructed that they could return partial verdicts.
Also according to Redoubt: "Scott Drexler was found not guilty on 8 of 10 charges. The 2 charges that were deadlocked were Count 5: Assault on a Federal Officer and Count 6: Use and Carry of a Firearm (with Count 5)
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"Eric Parker was found Not Guilty on 6 of 10 charges. The deadlocked charges for Parker were Counts 5 & 6, as with Drexler, Count 8: Threatening a Federal officer and Count 9: Use and Carry of a Firearm (with Count 8)."
According to video testimony by Andrea Olson Parker, wife of Eric Parker, all four men were released on Aug. 22. Earlier in the day, it Andrea said they believed Eric and Scott would be released to a halfway house but it later appeared that those two, along with Lovelien and Stewart were released into the public after more than 18 months in prison.
The men were originally tried in April but the jury was hung and unable to find any of them guilty or not guilty. The second trial began in July with the same judge, U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro. In a Motion in Limine, the judge required that the defendants not discuss the First or Second Amendment in the courtroom. The defense was only allowed to call one witness and could not even mention the constitution or the BLM's actions that inspired them to travel to the standoff.
These are the original indictments that the men were charged with:
The charges against some or all of the defendents
1. Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States
2. Conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer
3. Use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence March 2014 until March 2016
4. Assault on a federal officer – April 9
5. Assault on a federal officer – April 12
6. Use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence – April 12
7. Threatening a federal law enforcement officer – April 11
8. Threatening a federal law enforcement officer – April 12
9. Use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence – April 12
10. Obstruction of the due administration of justice – April 6
11. Obstruction of the due administration of justice – April 9
12. Obstruction of the due administration of justice – April 12
13. Interference with Interstate commerce by extortion – April 2 and 9
14. Interference with interstate commerce by extortion – April 12
15. Use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence – April 12
16. Interstate travel in aid of extortion
Cliven Bundy, several of his sons and others including Ryan Payne will be on trial next with the same judge presiding.
Editor’s Note: We have compiled a list of all the articles we have published, as well as a timeline of the events, surrounding the Bundy Standoff and other incidents relating to government's role in public land management such as the Hammond Fire Trial and the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Click here to read more.