Yes, You Can Defend The First Amendment
by Shari Dovale
Acting US Attorney Steven Myhre has been hit by the proverbial slap in the face and has begun to take everything surrounding the Bunkerville trials very personally.
You would think that this man could rise above the nastiness and keep his remarks professional, however, he proved himself to be a bit irrational when he made childish accusations towards the Bunkerville Retrial defendants last week.
The surprising verdicts announced last week, allowing the release of four men from custody in Nevada, have shined the light on Myhre’s lack of evidence against the entire group of political prisoners.
After two juries failed to hand him the desired guilty verdicts, Myhre had what can only be considered a tantrum in the courtroom when he called Eric Parker “a coward” for having a weapon on the overpass.
The most recent jury acquitted the four defendants of 34 charges, leaving only 6 charges in a deadlock. There were no guilty verdicts in this trial.
He nearly stomped his foot when he practically demanded Judge Gloria Navarro continue to hold Parker and fellow defendant Scott Drexler in custody. And why not? Navarro has been on-board with the government’s agenda from the beginning.
But, Judge Navarro didn’t take the bait this time. She ordered the immediate release of Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelein, and authorized pretrial release to Idaho for Eric Parker and O. Scott Drexler. But, she has not allowed any of the other defendants to be released pending trial. This includes Pete Santilli, whose motion for release was denied in record time.
AUSA Myhre has stated that the government has “overwhelming” evidence against these two men and he intends to retry them a third time. I think that AUSA Myhre’s ‘overwhelming’ evidence is just what the defense needs for more acquittals.
Myhre is so desperate to get these convictions that he offered a plea deal to Scott Drexler just before the last trial began. Drexler, through his attorney Todd Leventhal, declined to even discuss terms.
I am sure that Acting US Attorney Myhre will not stop there. He is bound to offer more plea deals to anyone and everyone, like throwing stuff against a wall hoping it will stick. This time, however, it just keeps sliding out of his reach.
The defendants, however, are pleased with the verdicts. In talking to Eric Parker the night he was released, all he could say was. “Yes, you can defend the First Amendment!”
Cliven Bundy walks by a first amendment area set up by the Bureau of Land Management near Bunkerville, Nev.
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