Malheur Protest Trial: The Big Gun Show
By Shari Dovale
The final 2 days of the prosecution’s case against the Malheur political protesters consisted of showing the jury a long line of weapons and ammunition found by the FBI’s Evidence Response Team.
They were obviously going for scare tactics as they discussed the ammunition on Monday, including showing photos of the various boxes recovered. However, on Tuesday, they attempted to double the effect by carting in several storage crates of the same ammunition. Judge Brown, to her credit, did not allow this. The crates were removed from the courtroom without the first one being opened.
The prosecution did manage to show a few dozen guns to the jury, but it, too, was overkill. A long day of discussion describing every location for every gun, yet no one could testify as to the ownership of most of the weapons. The FBI could not say when the guns arrived at the refuge, or who brought them.
Ryan Bundy’s defense team scored a victory in keeping out a recording of an interview he gave to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
The prosecution also confirmed that they did not plan to call Jason (Joker J) Blomgren as a witness. Ever since Butch Eaton turned the tables on them and praised the defendants in his prosecution testimony, they have acted a bit shy about calling other witnesses.
FBI Agent Walker was back on the stand today, which makes me wonder. All the witnesses scheduled to testify have been kept out of the courtroom. This is not unusual as I understand it. The government agents have also been kept out until their testimony was complete.
However, Agent Walker has been sitting behind the prosecution table every day since the trial began. He has heard every witness and argument, both in the jury’s presence and out. He has been on the witness stand at varying times during the past weeks. How is it that he is allowed this special privilege? I hope someone thinks to ask Judge Brown about it.
The prosecution rested early this afternoon. The defense case begins tomorrow, and we are all anticipating what is coming. The prosecution case was very weak, relying more on emotion than facts. The defense has a good case, if Judge Brown allows them to present it.