On Monday federal Judge Gloria Navarro will hear arguments as to whether Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and a Montana militia man should again face trial on charges growing out of the Bunkerville standoff with BLM agents attempting to impound Bundy’s cattle in 2014.
The judge declared a mistrial in December when she ruled the prosecution had failed to timely turn over evidence to the defendants.
Now she must decide whether that mistrial is with prejudice, meaning no retrial, or without prejudice, meaning still another trial.
The first trial also ended in a mistrial for four of six defendants when the jury could not reach unanimous verdicts. Of the remaining four, two were acquitted during retrial and two others pleaded guilty to misdeamnors and were released on time served after the jurors again could not reach unanimous verdicts.
One of those convicted was sentenced to 68 years in prison. In doing so Navarro called the man and other protesters “playground bullies,” adding, “You don’t just go to the tax office and threaten them to not collect taxes.”
During the sentencing to seven years in prison of a protester who copped a plea, Navarro called him “a bully vigilante, threatening peacekeepers of the community.”
What are the chances of Navarro declaring the mistrial is with prejudice?
All the remaining defendants, except Cliven Bundy, have been released on what amounts to house arrest. Bundy refused to agree to the conditions of release and remains jailed for almost two years now.
Six more defendants, including two more Bundy sons, Dave and Mel Bundy, are scheduled to be tried 30 days after the end of the current trial, if there is one. What will become of that trial if this one does not go on?
Millions have been spent prosecuting this case. What are the odds?