Bunkerville Standoff: Make This Case Go Away!
By Shari Dovale
The pressure from the elected officials and the public have made a dramatic difference in the Bunkerville Standoff case. Plea deals are being offered for multiple defendants this week.
Rumors abound that the prosecution is acting as if they have been told to “make this case go away”. There have been offers of plea agreements given to several defendants, including Ryan Payne, Pete Santilli, Eric Parker and Scott Drexler. There have been NO reports of any acceptance of offers, but negotiations continue.
Speculation is also running on possible plea agreements for other defendants scheduled for trial later, including Mel and Dave Bundy.
Now is the time to double-down on the letters and phone calls! Keep up the pressure! Let AG Sessions know what a miscarriage of justice this case has become. It is working!
Cliven Bundy, patriarch of the Bundy Family, had recently fired his attorney, Bret Whipple. Whipple did not complain as he had not received any payment for sometime, therefore had not done any recent work towards preparing for the upcoming trial. He filed a motion for an expedited hearing to be released from the case.
A hearing on Whipple’s motion was held on Wednesday. Cliven argued quite well that he was prepared to defend himself. He admitted that he may not be completely up on every point, but he felt ready to proceed and was not asking for any delay in the trial.
Magistrate Leen heard the motion and proceeded to argue with Bundy for nearly 45 minutes, pointing out all the obvious problems with defending himself. Bundy stood firm in his decision, however, Leen decided to deny Bundy his right to self-representation.
Leen has ordered Whipple to continue as Bundy’s attorney. Whipple asked for a sealed hearing to discuss the financial aspect of this order. We are told that Whipple argued that a 3-month trial with no payment could bankrupt him. Leen decided then to make Whipple a court-appointed attorney to Bundy so he will be paid from the same funds as the other attorneys.
Basically, the Magistrate has enslaved Whipple to this trial, not giving him any options for release, and she has also enslaved Bundy to Whipple, though they both admit to a breakdown in their attorney-client relationship.
Other highlights from the hearing include Bundy objecting repeatedly to the prosecutors even being present for this hearing, as he felt that they should have no say in his choice of counsel. Leen made note of his (multiple) objections on this point, but did not address it further.
Prosecutors originally attempted to indict Bundy, and his sons Ammon and Ryan, under the RICO Act, calling them an organized crime family. This strategy did not work out quite so well for them. AUSA Myhre has turned this case into a personal vendetta. You would think that Cliven ran off with his Christmas stocking.
Hearings in preparation for the upcoming trial will continue next week. Jury selection is scheduled for October 10th.
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