Mistrial Declared in Bunkerville Standoff Trial
by Shari Dovale
Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial Wednesday in the trial for Cliven Bundy, two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, and Montana resident Ryan Payne.
Navarro criticized the prosecution for several Brady violations stating the evidence was material and favorable to the defense.
Navarro went on to state that she found it to be favorable and exculpatory that surveillance cameras were directed at the Bundy home. This goes to the conspiracy and false information charges. Additionally, the evidence was provided untimely, which is another violation.
The court also found the suppression of the disclosure was willful. The government falsely represented that the view of the Bundy home was unintentional. This is huge. There could be, at minimum, sanctions coming for Acting US attorney Steven Myhre and other prosecutors.
Moving on to another item, Navarro referenced the snipers and that the indictment charges false representation, “But now we know there were snipers.”
She found that the information is favorable to the accused and bolsters the defense.. “The court does find prejudice toward the defendants. This information may have caused a difference in the opening statements, cross examination of witnesses and undermines the outcome,” she said.
The judge continued her rebuke of the government for about an hour. She included other evidence, such as the threat assessment report and a log of activities surrounding the impoundment.
All together, between 12/12/17 and 12/17/17, over 5,000 pages of new discovery and evidence has been revealed and there may still be outstanding discovery.
Ryan Bundy stood in the courtroom and asked, in light of the mistrial, to have all the defendants terms of release changed. He requested that they be released on their own recognizance and able to travel to their family homes for the upcoming holidays.
Judge Navarro did not rule on that request, citing the need to go through pretrial services first.
Additionally, they also asked about release for the two men that were convicted previously, Todd Engel and Greg Burleson. Based on the new evidence that they had not seen during their trial, it is anticipated they will ask for their convictions to be overturned, or a new trial granted. Navarro did not rule on that request.
A hearing is scheduled for January 8th, where the court will provide the order of mistrial with or without prejudice, and her answer to the Review-Journal’s request for unsealing evidence.
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