Friday, July 07, 2017

Bundy Ranch ‘gunmen’ face retrial in Las Vegas

Tay Wiles

 Four men who took part in the 2014 standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and the rancher Cliven Bundy face a retrial next week.  Their trial may become even more complicated this time around. New evidence that prosecutors might bring in suggests the standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada, was not an isolated incident but a piece of a larger phenomenon. Prosecutors aim to show that the defendants have ongoing ties to militia groups, by describing two similar incidents in Oregon and Montana in 2015. According to court documents, prosecutors allege that the participation of Drexler and Parker in these events is “inextricably intertwined” with the conspiracy charges in the Bunkerville trial. Meanwhile, the government is also trying to preclude defendants from testifying on their personal beliefs, to explain their “state of mind” at the time of the Nevada standoff, including “their beliefs about the First Amendment, the BLM, their alternative reality view of the world, and a host of other irrelevant matters,” according to court documents. In response, defense attorneys said that prohibiting discussion of their clients’ state of mind “undermines fundamental fairness and due process, while prohibiting the defendants from presenting their theory of defense.” The judge has yet to rule on the government’s motion...more

No comments: