Update: jury acquits in Nevada Bundy standoff

“For the second time this year, the federal government tried and failed to convict four men who joined the high-profile Bundy family in its 2014 [Nevada] standoff with federal agents in a dispute over grazing fees for cattle.” Two defendants were acquitted of all charges, and two others were acquitted of most with the jury hanging on the remainder. [Melissa Etehad and David Montero, L.A. Times] Both the armed Nevada standoff, and the later Bundy family takeover of the unoccupied Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon, played at the time as big crisis stories. Despite the weakness of many of the underlying legal claims about land advanced by the protesters, federal prosecutors have struggled to obtain convictions; the Oregon takeover resulted in acquittals in October [our earlier coverage] [revised and corrected; an earlier version of this post had been based on confused chronology]


  • I hate it when my chronology gets confused. It should really pay more attention.

  • If this comment by Drexler’s lawyer, Todd Leventhal, means what it appears to mean, the acquittal is considerably more remarkable than most acquittals.

    It might also suggest that federal prosecutors are merely bringing charges because of butthurt, not actual violations of law.

    From the LA Times report cited here:

    “We weren’t allowed to bring in any witnesses during the trial,” Leventhal said on Tuesday.

    How rare are acquittals when defense presents no witnesses?

    • I don’t know how rare they average, but I was on a jury this year in which the defense offered no witnesses. We found one of the defendants guilty and the other not guilty.


    • From what I remember, it happened in the Ruby Ridge case. Weaver was convicted of Failure to Appear, or some other minor charge while him and his co-defendant were acquitted of the more serious charges. Gerry Spence did not call any witnesses after the Feds rested.