John Locher/ AP FILE In this Feb. 6, 2017, file photo, supporters and critics of offenders on trial at the federal court house gather in Las Vegas. Federal district attorneys will try once again to convince a jury that four guys conspired with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his household when they used up arms during a 2014 standoff that stopped federal representatives from confiscating cows belonging to the states’ rights advocate. July selection begins Monday, July 10.
Monday, July 10, 2017|2 a.m.
Federal prosecutors in Nevada are about to attempt once again to prove that 4 men should invest years in prison for bringing assault-style weapons to a fight that stopped government agents from assembling livestocks near Cliven Bundy’s cattle ranch more than three years back.
Jury choice starts Monday in Las Vegas for the conspiracy retrial of 4 accuseds whose cases were left undecided when jurors weren’t able to reach a decision in April. Two other accuseds were found guilty of some charges.
“They’re going to pare down their case compared with last time,” Jess Marchese, lawyer for defendant Eric Parker, said Friday. “The government always repairs their mistakes.”
Todd Leventhal, lawyer for offender Scott Drexler, stated district attorneys are now asking the judge to narrow the focus of the trial to the standoff itself, and not let defense attorney raise arguments about civil liberties and federal government land policy. The judge has yet to rule on those requests.
A spokesperson for acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre decreased Friday to comment.
Parker was famously photographed resting on the pavement of an Interstate 15 overpass during the tense April 2014 standoff, looking with his AK-47-style rifle toward heavily armed federal representatives listed below.
“His case comes down to that photo,” Marchese stated Friday. “It’s a frightening image.”
Drexler is seen in a similar picture, and images showed Richard Lovelien and Steven Stewart carrying assault-style rifles, however not aiming them.
Yet a 12-member jury that saw the very same photos failed to reach decisions about the 4 accuseds. Many jurors voted to acquit on conspiracy, weapon, assault on a federal agent and other charges.
Accuseds maintain they owned to southern Nevada from Idaho and Montana after seeing social media posts about scuffles including unarmed Bundy family members and Bureau of Land Management agents utilizing canines and stun weapons. Some said they ‘d never ever previously met Bundy family members.
Officials said the federal government representatives were enforcing federal court orders for Bundy to obtain his livestocks off public rangeland after failing to pay more than $1.1 million in grazing costs.
In the end, no shots were fired in the armed fight near Bunkerville. The regional constable brokered a truce and cows that had been rounded up were released.
The result made Cliven Bundy a hero to anti-government activists, and resulted in his arrest in early 2016 with 18 other guys, including 4 of his sons. All are in federal custody.
2 offenders pleaded guilty in 2015, and Gregory Burleson and Todd Engel were condemned during the first trial.
Burleson, of Phoenix, faces 57 years of obligatory prison time on 8 charges. Engel, of Idaho, might face up to 30 years in jail. Their sentencings are set later on this month.
Bundy, his boys Ammon and Ryan, and 2 other offenders are due for trial later on this year. 6 others, including two other Bundy boys, are slated for trial next year.