BUNKERVILLE STANDOFF TRIAL UNDERWAY IN JUDGE GLORIA NAVARRO'S KANGAROO COURT
ACTING US ATTORNEY PRAISED BY AG SESSIONS LEADS PROSECUTION THAT MOVED TO GET FIRST AND SECOND AMENDMENT DEFENSE ARGUMENTS BANNED FROM TRIAL WITH JUDGE NAVARRO RULING IN FAVOR
JURY SEATED FOR TRIAL INCLUDES FOUR MEMBERS STRUCK BY DEFENSE, BUT ALLOWED ON BY JUDGE NAVARRO
NAVARRO ALLOWS JURORS TO ASK QUESTIONS DURING THIS TRIAL BUT WITH ULTERIOR MOTIVE OF PREVENTING JURY NULLIFICATION
The second Bunkerville Standoff trial of four men not convicted in a trial earlier this year began Monday.
Eric Parker, Steven Stewart, Scott Drexler and Ricky Lovelien are being tried under conditions imposed by US District Judge Gloria Navarro that included her ruling in favor of a prosecution motion to ban use of the First and Second Amendments of the US Constitution as a legal defense.
The prosecution also got Judge Navarro to ban the defense from mentioning alleged misconduct or excessive use of force by the federal authorities that were involved in the dispute over Cliven Bundy's cattle that culminated in the April 2014 Bunkerville Standoff near Bundy Ranch.
Acting US Attorney Steven Myhre, recently praised by the Attorney General Jeff Sessions as the "top guy leading the battle, going to court, standing up and defending the office and the principles of the law" came out claiming the four men "got on a bridge, armed with semi-automatic rifles, and threatened to shoot law enforcement officers who stood below them in a wash".
Defense attorney Richard Tanasi, representing Steven Stewart, said "This case is about standing up for what you believe in. Nothing more, nothing less."
Attorney Jess Marchese, who represents defendant Eric Parker, wanted to put it on the record at the beginning of the trial that he objected to the composition of the jury that included four jurors struck by the defense, but reinstated by Judge Navarro.
Todd Leventhal, the attorney for Scott Drexler, said his client "saw images that shocked his conscience" and believes "no man is above the law, badge or not". Drexler saw videos of police dogs and stun guns being used against protestors by federal authorities around Bundy Ranch.
Ricky Lovelien's attorney Shawn Perez noted that during the protest "not a shot was fired, not a bottle was thrown, not a rock was thrown....nobody was injured and everyone went home"
Judge Gloria Navarro is allowing the jury to ask questions during the trial, but that's seen as her way of making sure the jurors aren't going to nullify. If Navarro feels the jury is moving in the wrong direction, its expected she will declare a mistrial according to supporters of the defendants.