Jury selection begins in Bundy-related trial
Federal prosecutors will move forward with their second try at locking up individuals who came to the defense of the Bundy family when the BLM gathered their cattle and threatened to sell them in 2014. Jury selection started Monday, July 10, for the case that will be tried in Nevada.
Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien were among the hundreds who showed up at the headquarters of the Bundy ranch, near Bunkerville, Nevada, to stand for what they felt was an overreach of the federal government. They are being charged with conspiracy against the federal government.
According to Fox news, the retrial comes after an April mistrial caused by undecided jurors. The first trial involved the “least responsible” of the 17 individuals charged and still awaiting trial, said Fox News.
Even though no shots were fired in the armed standoff, the indictment claimed protesters pointed guns at federal agents.
Bundy supporters expressed dismay on social media last week when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions commented on the case, saying, ““I’ve got to tell you, it’s impressive when you have a tough case, a controversial case, and you’ve got the top guy leading the battle, going to court, standing up and defending the office and the principles of the law,” of Nevada Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre.
“I’m not taking sides or commenting on the case,” Sessions said. “Just want to say that leadership requires, a lot of times, our people to step up and be accountable.” Some Bundy supporters commented on social media that Sessions was indeed expressing support for the prosecutors in the case.
The Las Vegas Review Journal ran an editorial saying that the judge for the case, Gloria Navarro, has shown herself to be a friend to the federal prosecutors.
“On Monday, the judge eviscerated the defense’s legal strategy, putting off limits a whole host of issues that might make it more difficult for the government to win convictions. The defendants will be forbidden from arguing that they were exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and bear arms. They may not highlight the actions of BLM agents in the days leading up to the incident or mention federal gaffes such as the ill-advised “First Amendment” zone created for protesters.
“And if imposing these restrictions on the defense wasn’t enough, Judge Navarro ruled that prosecutors may introduce testimony about the four accused men and their associations with so-called militia groups,” said the paper’s editorial piece.
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