BUNKERVILLE STANDOFF: FRIDAY DEADLINE FOR WRITTEN ARGUMENTS, LEAD PROSECUTOR INVOLVED IN PREVIOUS MISTRIAL CASE
This Friday (December 29th) is the deadline for written arguments to be submitted by prosecutors and defense attorneys to US District Judge Gloria M. Navarro.
They are arguing whether Judge Navarro should make the mistrial she has declared in the third Bunkerville Standoff trial one with or without prejudice.
A "with prejudice" ruling would mean that the government's charges against the defendants (Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne) could not be refiled. A 'without prejudice' ruling would mean a new trial starting February 26th.
A hearing is set for January 8th when Judge Navarro is expected to make her decision.
Cliven Bundy's defense attorney, Bret Whipple, points to the "US vs Chapman" case just over a decade ago in Las Vegas where the judge declared a mistrial over 600 plus pages of evidence impeaching the prosecution's case. Written arguments were requested and then the judge ruled to dismiss the charges. An appeal by the prosecution to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals failed.
Shari Dovale of "Redoubt News" reports that the man overseeing that case was none other than the lead prosecutor in the Bunkerville case, Steven Myhre. Myhre was also Acting US Attorney in Las Vegas at the time.
Of course one other factor in the unfolding situation is the intervention of the Justice Department with the discovery evidence "expert" sent out to review the case and recommend the next step.
Will there be a backing down by the Justice Department or a doubling down to keep the case going?
Will any disciplinary action be imposed on the prosecutors (Steven Myhre, Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed)?
Will there be investigations by the Justice Department into FBI conduct or by the Department of the Interior into Bureau of Land Management conduct in the case.
The 18-page memo by BLM agent Larry Wooten points to what he called "offensive" and "unprofessional" conduct by the US Attorney's office, the FBI and BLM. He also suggested possible law breaking.
Others have stronger words for the behavior of law enforcement uncovered in the memo like Andrea Parker, who's husband Eric went through the first two trials with juries either unable to reach verdicts (most of them voting 'not guilty' apparently) and six out of ten charges "not guilty" in the second trial.
In a video posted earlier this month, she wonders if anything will happen to those involved in what she called the "malicious prosecution" of her husband and the eighteen others indicted and arrested in connection with Bunkerville..