Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Jury selection goes smoothly in opening day of first Bundy conspiracy trial

Jury selection moved quickly Monday on the first day of three trials related to the armed Cliven Bundy Bunkerville ranch standoff in April 2014. Six "low-level" defendants face a variety of charges in a trial that may last from six to 10 weeks. The six are Richard Lovelien, Todd Engel, Gregory Burleson, Eric Parker, O. Scott Drexler and Steven Stewart. About 10 protesters showed up on the steps of the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse on Las Vegas Boulevard, but were vastly outnumbered by an estimated 100 local and federal law enforcement officers providing security over the entire block surrounding the courthouse. The first jury pool of 250 was trimmed to 56 who entered Courtroom 7C on Monday morning. By mid-afternoon, 25 potential jurors remained as prosecutors and the defendants' lawyers spent about four hours questioning potential jurors. Most of 32 potential jurors who were excused were released on hardship issues, but a handful were rejected because of their perceived viewpoints on social media, how much they already know about the case, their views on law enforcement, gun issues and viewpoints on where they receive their news and how biased it might be. As she adjourned the opening day, presiding Judge Gloria Navarro said that if Tuesday's second day of jury selection goes as smoothly as the first, that opening arguments might be moved up from a planned Thursday start to possibly Wednesday. A second jury pool will be interviewed starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The court hopes to find 42 jurors qualified to serve before it is trimmed by more detailed questioning before opening arguments...more

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