Closing arguments ended today for six men in Nevada at the center of a very controversial trial involving a 2014 standoff between federal agents and a group of ranchers and supporters. The United States v. Cliven Bundy et al. now goes to the jury, and many familiar with the case believe that the wait for a verdict will be a short one – with an unfavorable outcome for the defendants. Despite the name, none of the Bundy’s are on trial in this particular case. However, Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Greg Burleson, Todd Engel, Steven Stewart, and Richard Lovelein face charges of conspiracy against the United States, various firearm offenses and assault on a federal officer in a land dispute that captured the attention of the nation.
Over the last seven weeks, court observers and family members have reported some disturbing occurrences in the courtroom that appear to violate a number of Constitutional rights. The defense rested after only two days and three witnesses; according to U.S. News, Judge Gloria Navarro severely limited who could be called to the stand.
The prosecution’s closing argument, according to a video by courtroom observer and wife of one of the defendants, Andrea Olson-Parker, included a long presentation on how to fill out the jury form with a guilty verdict. Many observers left the courtroom in disgust; as one man reached the doors, reported Olson-Parker, he turned and yelled “TREASON! TREASON!” to the judge. Marshals quickly escorted him out.
The defendants are facing several felonies for their part in the Bundy Ranch Standoff and could be sentenced to over one hundred years in prison each if convicted. The case has ignited liberty-minded citizens all over the West, as the issues of federal land ownership, individual liberty, and limits to government power have come to the forefront.
Liberty Nation will keep you up to date on the verdict.
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