Bunkerville Defendants Back In Court Today
by Shari Dovale
Four of the first round of defendants in the Bunkerville Trials in Las Vegas were dealt a mistrial recently. They were back in court today for motion hearings in preparation for their upcoming retrial.
Some of the highlights included the Judge ruling that the defendants will not be able to use the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution in their defense. This is not a new ruling, it is just being reiterated to the defense that the Constitution is not allowed in Judge Navarro’s courtroom.
Though the Federal government and the State of Nevada recognize the people’s right to open carry, Judge Gloria Navarro has made it quite clear that, in her mind, anytime a person is open-carrying a weapon and a law enforcement officer happens to see that weapon, then that is evidence of a threat to the officer and is considered assault.
That would indicate that the US Constitution is being used against the citizens of this country!
If citizens choose to exercise their rights, as guaranteed by the US Constitution, and if the government were to arrest them on Federal charges, as stated by this Federal Judge, would that mean that the US Constitution no longer exists?
Eric Parker’s attorney was not in court today, so Eric was told that he could “share” another attorney or raise his hand when he had a question. He did have questions.
Parker asked about the recent airing of the PBS Frontline TV show “American Patriot”. The PBS producers used Sealed Discovery Evidence in their production. Parker asked the Judge if there was going to be an investigation into this or, if not, will she lift the seal for the defendants to now share the discovery? She did not take his question, instead telling him that his attorney needs to file another motion.
The prosecution has now raised the issue of “Speedy Trial” in their arguments. The defense, in trying to set the schedule, suggested the court recess during the Independence Day holiday week, beginning trial afterwards. The prosecution objected as this would be an unnecessary delay.
These statements are from the same folks that have kept these defendants incarcerated for 14 months, and stated they would be within their rights to continue to hold them ~pre-trial and pre-conviction~ for up to five years.
The Speedy Trial argument is only allowed when it is convenient for the government?
Eric Parker asked why the “Tier One” defendants, including Cliven Bundy, couldn’t be included in this upcoming trial, in the interest of a “Speedy Trial”. That issue was slapped down by Judge Navarro pretty fast.
The government has also motioned that they would like to include evidence of the “Sugar Pine Mine” protest, the “White Hope Mine” protest and the Idaho III% Militia group in the upcoming trial as evidence against the defendants. This is problematic in that these protests and groups did not take place until after Bunkerville. This ‘evidence’ did not exist in 2014, so they have no bearing at all on this case.
*It should be noted at this point that the government has not sought to bring in evidence from Burns, Oregon and the Malheur Protest.
The court ruled in the previous trial that the information would not be allowed, however, they are going to have to rule again as the government has brought it up again. Does this mean that all previous rulings are now moot? Will they have to delay the trial again to go over all previous rulings? Will the defense have another chance to argue their own motions?
I suspect that Judge Navarro will hold true to form and allow the government their special prerogatives, yet deny the defense.
Ricky Lovelien’s defense attorney, Shawn Perez , showed his lack of interest in the entire procedure when he stood up in court on the record and stated that he did not care what the court decided because he was “Just here for the ride.” I feel disheartened for Lovelien, as the apathy of the federal defense attorney guarantees a poor defense.
The government filed a late-night motion last night that the defense has not had a chance to respond to. They have decided that the publicity that the alternative media has been able to generate is making the government look bad. They argue that it will taint the jury pool.
(Remember that they were not worried about the jury pool when the 700,000 flyers about Cliven Bundy were mailed across the state of Nevada.)
Again, this brings up the question of the PBS Frontline show, and how they were able to secure sealed evidence to present a slanted view of the case, favoring the government. However, the government is crying like a little girl in that they are not being treated as special as they feel they should.
They have motioned that they want even more prejudice against the defendants by allowing the government additional strikes during jury selection, as well as additional time to speak to the jury. They have argued that the publicity generated on social media has given the defendants an advantage and are asking for more than double the amount of challenges they previously received “to level the playing field” for the government.
This means that the government has taken note of the success that alternative media is having. They cannot stop the truth from being shared and they want to punish the defense for this success.
Last night’s motion is presented for you below: