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In a motion filed late Tuesday afternoon, federal prosecutors urged the court to dismiss the indictment, citing U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown's ruling last week that limited the evidence they could present against Santelli.
For example, the judge ruled, prosecutors cannot present evidence of Santilli haranguing counter-protesters at the refuge or badgering traditional news media in an attempt to dispute Santilli's defense that he was simply acting as a member of the press documenting the refuge takeover.
"Based upon this Court's pretrial evidentiary rulings excluding evidence against Santilli, the government has decided that the interests of justice do not support further pursuit of these charges against Santilli,'' according to a motion signed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ethan Knight, Craig Gabriel and Geoffrey Barrow.
He is accused of conspiring to assault federal officers, threatening officers, obstructing justice, extorting officers, and using and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence stemming from the armed standoff outside the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville.
The government alleges Santilli recruited gunmen to the ranch, helped lead an assault on U.S. Bureau of Land Management officers trying to roundup cattle on federal land, conducted reconnaissance of hotels where federal officers were staying and delivered an ultimatum to the land bureau's agent in charge to leave the impound site.
Jury selection starts Wednesday in the case against Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and others who helped seize Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2. They are charged with conspiring to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs. Several others were indicted, and many have pleaded guilty.
Nineteen people have been indicted in the Nevada standoff and most are set to be tried for that incident on February 2. Of the others facing charges for the Oregon standoff, 11 have taken plea deals so far and another seven are scheduled to stand trial Feb. 14, 2017. A 27th occupier, Robert “LaVoy” Finnicum, was shot and killed by Oregon State Police during the occupation.
Those who took plea deals have either agreed to or will likely face between six months of home detention and 3 ½ years in prison. The Bundys and others facing trial say they are unwilling to plea for a lesser sentence.
“I can honestly say that yes it was worth it,” Ammon Bundy said in a jailhouse interview with KGW. “They’re trying to stop people from exercising their free speech and First Amendment rights.”
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered prosecutors to provide an accurate, chronological accounting of who did what with privileged, raw Facebook account data belonging to 10 Oregon standoff defendants that should have been sealed but ended up being shared with all co-defendants.... [snip]... Brown also will allow the defense to reopen its motion to suppress the Facebook material. She struck her previous ruling that dismissed the motion, saying it was based on "inaccurate information provided by the government.''
originally posted by: Discotech
a reply to: Boadicea
Seems like they're (the feds) are trying to drag this out as long as possible with the trial expecting to last months
Hard to think it's been 8 months since it all began
Has there been much news on the feds being investigated for their murder of Lavoy ?
originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: Boadicea
I'll be following the trial - some of the details will be left out of public knowledge (of course), but I sure would love to be in that courtroom to hear how it all goes down
originally posted by: imitator
But what about the ambush and murder of LaVoy Finnicum?
Who is going to charge the murdering government of a peaceful American citizen?
originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Boadicea
That'll teach them to be activists. I imagine the arrest, incarceration, charges, lawyer fees, whatever for protesting are heavy enough.
"We don't need to punish this one any further. Case dismissed."
Brown also will allow the defense to reopen its motion to suppress the Facebook material. She struck her previous ruling that dismissed the motion, saying it was based on "inaccurate information provided by the government.''
Is this her polite judgely manner of saying the government was lying? Oh, the horror...
Yes indeed. It happens frequently if the judge catches law enforcement not abiding by the law.
The judge questioned the panel on whether they would follow the law even if they felt "pangs of conscience" and might not agree with it. She asked whether anyone had been handed a brochure about jury nullification outside the courthouse. One man said he had, but he didn't take it.