Ryan’s Cross Examination of Terry Petrie and Robert Shilalkin
Ryan Bundy crossed examined the second witness, Terry Petrie, for a total of two and a half hours with the skill of a seasoned lawyer. Each question was methodical, one question leading to another, and then another, until the answer he sought was finally extracted.
Ryan asked questions on state sovereignty and on the limited powers of government granted by the Constitution. He asked Mr. Petrie if he knew what the Supremacy Clause was. Petrie answered, “I do not know right off.” Ryan then quoted Article VI, Clause 2.
He grilled the witness on the Property Clause and the meaning of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution, laying the groundwork for the Equal Footing Doctrine argument.
He tied the Property Clause of the Constitution and Equal Footing Doctrine into Territories obtained through the Louisiana Purchase, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Spanish treaty relinquishing Florida and Georgia to the United States as Territory.
What astonished me that no objections were made by the prosecution about Ryan’s line of questioning on the Constitution, when the prosecution specifically asked Navarro not to allow it. What really surprised me, Navarro not once admonish him for bringing it up. Myhre and Schiess just sat there with their heads down. You could almost see steam coming from their heads like a volcano ready to explode. I could tell the jury was taking notice by their attentiveness and note taking during the entire cross examination.
On November 24, 2017the 3rd witness, BLM Special Agent, Robert Shilalkin, was questioned by head prosecutor Steven Myhre on his role in the 2014 stand-off. Shilalkin said the he and BLM Special Agent Michael Johnson were sent to Nevada in March 2014 to make contact with Cliven Bundy or one of his sons. Their mission was to inform them of their intent to enforce the court orders to impound their cattle, and to find out what their reaction would be.
According to Shilalkin, he and Johnson first went to the Bundy residence, but found no one home. They next tried to contact Dave Bundy, one of Cliven’s sons, but had no luck there either, so they decided to take a drive out on the range in hopes of finding one of the Bundys there.
Johnson and Shilalkin soon spotted a Dodge truck pulling a horse trailer coming toward them on the narrow desert road. It turned out to be Clancy Cox, Cliven’s son-in-law and ranch foreman. After a few pleasantries Johnson asked Cox to contact Cliven, who was out of town visiting his mother.
Cox could not reach Cliven, but left a message asking him to call back. After a few minutes had passed Cliven called and Cox told him about the two agents and their desire to talk to him. He refused and told Cox to, “get back to work.”
Johnson asked Clancy to confirm Ryan Bundy’s phone number, and then he and Shilalkin traveled the 100 mile to Cedar City, Utah where they were staying. Later that day Johnson got in touch with Ryan and the conversation was recorded without Ryan’s knowledge.
Brett Whipple, Cliven’s attorney, asked Johnson if he was aware of Nevada law, implying that no one could be recorded without permission. Johnson responded that the federal government did not have to have permission to record a conversation without the knowledge of the person being recorded.
Steven Myhre, for the prosecution, wanted to play snippets of the Johnson-Bundy tape, but the defense argued the Rule of Completeness should be implemented so the entire recording could be heard by the jury so nothing could be taken out of context. Myhre argued against playing the entire 46 minute tape, citing time restraints and taking up too much of the jury’s time. It would be “self serving,” Myhre said, because “Ryan Bundy talked about his interpretation of the Constitution and talked about his Mormon religious beliefs.” This, he argued, is not relevant to the case.
Judge Navarro agreed and ruled in favor of the prosecution. About 15 minutes of the tape was allowed to be heard by the jury.
After it was revealed by Shilalkin during cross examination by Whipple that another video existed, possibly showing that Clancy Cox, Cliven’s son-in-law was offered a bribe, Navarro allowed the entire 46 minute phone recording to be played in front of the jury.
Shilalkin testified that Johnson had told Ryan they intended to carry out a court order to impound his father’s cattle. He then asked Ryan if they were going to have any physical contact when they started the cattle impoundment. “We want to avoid that at all cost,” Johnson said.
“The best way to avoid that is to not show up,” Ryan answered.
“Does that mean you intend to use physical contact?” Johnson asked again.
Ryan’s answer was quick and resolute. “We will do whatever it takes, you interpret that anyway you want,”
“Does that mean you intend to make physical contact?” Johnson asked again.
Ryan answered, “I will not tell you what we will do and what we won’t do.”
Johnson said to Ryan that he wanted it to end peacefully and wanted to know what could be done for that to happen.
“Do not show up if you want to avoid confrontation,” Ryan answered. “You need to adhere to the Constitution and recognize state laws and local authority.”
Ryan then told Johnson that he had met with 50 ranchers, some in Utah and some in the surrounding Nevada counties and they had offered their support because, in their words, “If Cliven falls, we’re next.”
“You are threatening to take 50% of their land because of wild horses.” Ryan said, referring to BLM’s plan to make ranchers reduce the size of their herd and restrict grazing areas so the wild horse population would have more land to feed on.
The Bureau of Land Management has failed to effectively manage the wild horse population in the west, claiming lack of money. There are 60,000 free ranging horses in the west with 35,000 in Nevada alone. The BLM claims the entire range can only sustain 27,000 horses. The first to pay the price for their mismanagement are the ranchers. They are forced to reduce their herd size or face loss of grazing rights and impoundment if they do not comply. This effectively cancels their water rights, too, because the BLM will not allow cattle to access any water source on public lands, even though the law states otherwise.
“You are threatening life and liberty of the ranchers, just like you are trying to do to us,” Ryan said. “That’s unconstitutional. Hundreds will come.”
Ryan told Johnson that news had spread all over the world about what had happened to them. “Why is the world interested in two Bundy cows?” Ryan asked. “Because America stood for freedom and has for years and the world is interested in seeing how America will deal with freedom. The world wants to know.” He then told Johnson that our freedom is not being lost in Iraq and other places overseas. “They are being lost right here at home.” Ryan then told Johnson that he was guilty of taking those rights along with the BLM.
The conversation then turned to the sheriff. “We delegate our authority to the sheriff,” Ryan said. He then explained to Johnson during the taped conversation, about the power and authority of the sheriff, and that no other law enforcement entity could overrule that authority. “If the sheriff does not step in to protect the people,” Ryan said, “we still have the authority, because the authority comes from the people.” He pointed out that the sheriff had stepped in on other occasions to stop impoundment.
“Has the sheriff indicated that he would help you this time?” Johnson asked.
“No, but we are trying to change his mind.”
Johnson said again they intended to carry out the court order and wished the Bundy family no harm.
“I don’t believe that!” Ryan snapped. “It is a crime to gather our cows. You are trying to do us harm by stealing our cattle.” He then asked Johnson, “What would you do if someone tried to take your property?
“I would defend it,” Johnson said.
“Exactly,” Ryan agreed “Then how is it any different than us defending our property? The state recognizes water and grazing rights, established rights that are tied together. We do not claim to own the land, just the rights. The water coming out of the ground belongs to us. Our cattle must be allowed to go to the water.” He emphasized that pipes carrying water and the infrastructure and range improvements were private property belonging to his family.
Johnson stressed again that they intended to carry out the court order to remove Bundy cattle from public lands.
“Do you recognize the court order? Ryan asked. “If you do, that would be violating the 10th Amendment because the federal court is not a court of competent jurisdiction.” He then pointed out that a competent court was a state court, not a federal court, because the state owned the land and only they had the authority to judge. “Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states, or to the people,” he said.
Ryan again talked about the Equal Footing Doctrine in the Northwest Ordinance passed by the Founders, where all states entering the Union came in on an equal footing as the original 13 states. “The federal government,” he said, “did not claim ownership of any land when they entered the Union.”
He asked Johnson what he knew about Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 where it states the federal government cannot own land unless it is approved by the state legislature, that it cannot be more than 10 sq. miles, and it must be used for Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock-yards and other needful buildings. “The federal government has no right to Nevada land”, Ryan said. He mentioned the Nevada Law of 2005, saying it did not recognize federal ownership of state land.
Ryan talked about why the Desert Tortoise and why it was placed on the Endangered Species list. “The Desert Tortoise does not qualify to be on the endangered list because it has nothing to do with interstate commerce.” He said that geese and the selling of elephant trunks was an example of what the Endangered Species Act was about, but the “Desert Tortoise did not fit.”
The 1976 Endangered Species Act that implemented the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, did address international and interstate commerce, but has changed in purpose over the years because of added amendments. It encourages the creation of state programs supplemented by the federal government and administered under the Department of Interior.
Ryan pointed out to Johnson that a Desert Tortoise refuge had been established for their preservation and dissemination, but soon found they had more tortoise than they knew what to do with. Because of this overpopulation at the refuge, “the BLM euthanized 1,400 endangered tortoises,” he said.
Ryan asked Johnson if he was familiar with the Mormon faith. Johnson said yes, that he was a member of the church. He pointed out that almost all important decisions were made at the local level of the church, and the United States government was set up the same way.
Ryan told Johnson, who is also LDS that being a member of the church he should know that it teaches the Constitution is an inspired document. He also mentioned that church founder, Joseph Smith, had said the Constitution will hang by a thread. “Do you realize it is up to the Elders of Israel to save the Constitution?” Ryan asked. He then quoted other Mormon prophets and scripture supporting his viewpoint.
Brett Whipple, on cross in front of the jury, asked Shilalkin if Cox had been bribed to get his father-in-law to cooperate. This did not draw an objection from the prosecution
Later in the questioning of Shilalkin, it was discovered that Clancy Cox had been video recorded with a body camera worn by Shilalkin. Neither the prosecution nor defense had known about this video.
Whipple asked Shilalkin if he knew where the video was. Shilalkin responded that it was in the evidence vault at BLM headquarters in Salt Lake City. Whipple then asked Navarro if the video could be retrieved. Navarro agreed and asked Myhre to work on getting the video during lunch break. The video, the defense hoped, would prove that Johnson had bribed Cox.
A copy of the video and audio recording was sent to the prosecution via email. Whipple and Payne’s attorney, Ryan Norwood, asked Navarro for time to review the video before allowing the jury to see it, and so they could get in contact with Cox to ask him questions. Navarro agreed to give the defense overnight to view the video.
The next morning Myhre told the court, before the jury was seated, that nothing in the video suggested Clancy Cox had been bribed. After the jury was brought in, Myhre asked that the video be entered into evidence. The video showed the entire conversation the two agents had with Cox, but no mention was made of a bribe.
With Shilalkin on the stand Whipple told Navarro he had been mistaken about the video. He then claimed that Johnson had made a phone call to Cox from his motel room on March 18, the day after talking to Cox out on the range. Shilalkin confirmed the phone call had taken place.
Whipple then asked Shilalkin if Johnson had offered Cox money or other compensation to get Cliven Bundy to cooperate.
Immediately Myhre objected.
Whipple countered, “Your Honor, they cannot object now when they did not object before.”
Navarro allowed Shilalkin to answer the question. Immediately Shilalkin snapped, “Absolutely not!”
During a closed hearing it was revealed that the prosecution had known about the email and the email confirmed that Clancy Cox had been offered compensation to help sway his father-in-law to cooperate with the impoundment.
This, as it turns out, was the turning point in the case and one of the reasons Navarro reversed her decision to release Cliven and Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne. Eventually the others were released also.
November 30-Ranger Victoria Worfork Started Cocky, Ended Humble
BLM agent and law enforcement officer, Victoria Worfork, was the 3rd witness to be called. Myhre, for the prosecution, asked Worfork to describe what happened on March 26, 2014 when the compound was being set up to commence impoundment.
Worfork took the witness stand looking confident and perhaps a little cocky. As the testimony went forth I could tell she was proud of the answers she was providing to the prosecution by the smug look on her face and the way she emphasized certain points for the jury. Worfork’s answer to each question seemed designed to cast the Bundy in a dubious light in front of the jury.
Worfork was the BLM agent in charge of setting up the Incident Command Post, or ICP, where the impoundment would take place. Myhre asked Worfork to state her training background as an LEO. He then played a video recorded by Arden Bundy, Cliven’s youngest son, from a Go-Pro camera mounted on his hat. As the video played Myhre would stop it at different points to ask Worfork to explain what was taking place.
The first clip showed a truck pulling a horse trailer parked close to the ICP fence and a man standing next to the truck. Worfork identified Cliven Bundy as the person standing next to the truck.
The next clip showed three men on horseback riding the fence line. She was asked to identify each man. She pointed out Ryan and Arden Bundy, but could not identify the third man on horseback, later identified as Clancy Cox.
As Myhre advanced to another clip, he asked Worfork what she thought by her observation as a trained officer, why the Bundys were there. “It looked as though they were trying to find a way into the Incident Command Post,” she said.
“And what did you do then,” Myhre asked.
“I told them to leave.”
What else did you observe? Asked Myhre.
Worfork described Ryan Bundy reaching into his vest pocket with his right hand and pulling it back out again. She said he repeated the action several times and noticed a bulge in Ryan’s pocket, insinuating that Ryan had a gun.
Worfork was then asked what she thought Ryan was doing. “I think he was trying to bait me into doing something.”
Myhre asked Worfork if she felt threatened. Her response was a quick “Yes.”
“What message do you think they were trying to send?” Myhre asked.
Worfork answered, “I think they were trying to get a response from me and the other officers.” Worfork was the only officer at the future command center when the Bundys arrived, but others came after she placed a radio call for back-up.
Worfork was asked what else she had observed. She said that Arden Bundy had a Go-Pro Camera on his hat and another vehicle with a camera crew had pulled up beside the truck with the horse trailer.
“What was your threat assessment once you saw the camera crew?” Myhre asked. Worfork replied that seeing the camera crew changed her threat assessment as being less dangerous.
The next frame showed several trucks parked along SR 15 with cars passing by on both the northbound and southbound lanes.
“Were you worried for the vehicles parked along the highway?” Myhre asked. Worfork said yes, that she had worried they would get hit by another car and injure the people inside. To bring her point home to the jury about the dangerous situation, she said, “Cars travel at a high rate of speed, some go 100 mph, and it’s a very dangerous situation.” Worfork also said she was concerned for the safety of her officers because a crash might send a car into the compound.
Another clip showed a truck parked at the gate with more trucks coming. Worfork explained they were BLM contractors there to help build the compound. Others, she said, were contract cowboys hired to roundup Bundy cattle. Worfork insinuated she did not know who they were at first, and thought they might be there to support the Bundys. She also insinuated that Cliven’s truck was blocking the roadway.
Ryan Bundy was the first for the defense to cross examine the witness. “What position do you hold with the BLM? He asked.
“I am a law enforcement officer,” she replied.
“Do you work for the federal government? He asked
“Yes.” Worfork answered.
“Do you bring your Presidential Commission?” Ryan asked.
Ryan then asked if the land by the highway was public or state right-of-way.
Worfork’s answer was smug, “I’m not a real estate expert and I can’t say.”
Ryan then asked Judge Navarro if his co-counsel, Mason Fletcher, could leave the courtroom to retrieve some documents. Fletcher came back a short time later with two scrolls. Ryan took the scrolls and laid them on the podium where he stood.
Worfork’s countenance suddenly changed.
Ryan, like Myhre, played the Go-Pro video stopping at certain places to ask Worfork questions.
He advanced the video, first to a gate, then to a fence, and then to a cattle gap in the narrow dirt road leading up to the ICP. He next showed the highway with government contractors parked along the shoulder.
Ryan asked if Worfork could identify each one and their location. She answered, sometimes reluctantly, but always with a snappy “yes” or “no.”
As the video advanced and Ryan’s questions continued, Worfork’s answers would end with a “but”. For instance, when she was asked if the trucks parked along the highway were parked on a legal shoulder used for emergencies, Worfork agreed, but expounded on how dangerous it was to be parked along the highway with speeding cars.
Ryan asked if the highway was a state road. She agreed. He then asked if the fence was on public land. Again Worfork agreed. “Then you would agree the land next to the fence is state right-of-way?” Ryan advanced the video showing the three riders next to the fence. Would you agree with me that the horses and the people riding them “are on state land? Are they breaking any laws?”
With each question Worfork became increasingly uncomfortable, her tone defensive, her insecurity apparent. She was very aware that Ryan’s line of questioning was debunking her previous testimony.
She was also aware of the scrolls, something Ryan never had to use. Whether the scrolls did or did not show the line of demarcation between public and state lands I do not know, but it placed in the minds of the jury and the witness that the proof was there.
Next Ryan stopped the video so Worfork could see Cliven’s truck and the car with the camera crew−it showed clearly that the road was not blocked and preventing the contractors from entering. It also showed Cliven leaning against the truck in a non-threatening way, which Ryan pointed out.
The next few video shot would bring his point home. The first frame showed Cliven and Clancy with a cell phone in their hands holding it up in a picture-taking pose. Ryan asked Worfork what she thought, in her professional opinion, they were doing? “Taking photos,” she responded.
Ryan advanced the video where he was sitting on his horse with a cell phone in his hand as though taking a picture. “What does it look like I am I doing?” he asked.
“Taking a picture,” Worfork responded.
Ryan then stopped the video showing Cliven, Clancy with cell phones up in a photo taking posture.
And then the clincher−the video stopped on Ryan sitting on his horse with a cell phone in his hand as though taking a picture. The implication was stark.
I believe the jury, at that point, was convinced that Ryan did not have a gun in his vest pocket as Worfork and the prosecution had inferred during direct examination. They understood at that moment what caused the bulge in Ryan’s vest pocket, and it was not a gun.
November 29, 2017 A Surprise Reversal
Navarro dismissed the jury, but court was not over. In a surprise reversal Navarro announced she would allow Clive Bundy, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne out of jail on house arrest.
When I first arrived at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse I learned that a closed-door hearing had been held that morning. The defense had filed a 1,000 page motion, which was ordered sealed by Navarro. The defense addressed multiple pending motions, one being a dismissal of the case due to alleged delays or alleged withholding of discovery by the prosecution−Information that could have helped in the defendants’ case, in the current trial and in the two previous trials.
Judge Navarro ordered the release of Cliven and Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne from jail because she “reweighed the evidence,” said Brett Whipple.
The other member of the defense team, Dan Hill, said, “Judge Navarro reevaluated the weight of the evidence and found her concerns were mitigated.”
The Clancy Cox video, the email sent to Cox by agent Michael Johnson, and the F.B.I. Threat Assessment that was discovered on cross examination some deliberately held back by the government, all contributed to Navarro’s decision to reverse her decision and release the defendants for pre-trial.
To add to the “mitigated concerns” that caused Navarro to “reevaluate the weight of the evidence,” was another piece of evidence not revealed to the defense during discovery. An email, sent by Dan Love, to government attorney, Terry Petrie, the 2nd witness to testify, was forwarded by him to the prosecution.
Also, in the days leading up to the trial, defense lawyers learned for the first time of federal officers placing surveillance cameras outside the Bundy Ranch, providing live-feed footage to the Incident Command Center, which the prosecution denied. The live feed clearly showed snipers with their guns pointed at the Bundy residence.
The withholding of evidence is a serious breach of protocol frowned upon by the judiciary. It is rumored that Judge Navarro reprimanded the prosecuting attorneys for their behavior.
All 3 men were offered places to stay in the Las Vegas area during their release, which was one of Navarro’s conditions. No guns would be allowed in the homes and the homeowners would have to agree to a search. All three had to wear ankle GPS monitors as another condition. She did allow them to go to church, meet with their attorneys, and go for medical care and other places they felt necessary with the approval of security. They could not leave Clark County and had to be in court at the appointed time.
Ryan Payne’s conditions were more stringent. He had to submit to drug testing, psychological testing and counseling if deemed necessary. Since he had pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in a plea deal involving the 2016 Malheur Refuge take-over, and was still under bond, Payne had to have permission from Judge Anna Brown, who had presided over the Oregon case. Judge Navarro had sent Judge Brown an email listing her conditions for release.
Cliven Bundy did something no one expected. He refused to be released after Navarro presented him with release conditions.
“I understand his desire to stay in there to bring continued attention to this,” Ammon Bundy said to reporters on the day of his release. “I understand his decision because I still have brothers forced behind bars. He wants to make sure they are not forgotten. He wants to make sure that they get out as well.”
Whipple said Cliven Bundy would not accept the release conditions and objected to being let out of custody while other co-defendants still remain behind bars.
Whipple told the press, “To be released, he would have to agree to conditions. In his opinion, he’s not willing to take a deal with the government when he hasn’t done anything wrong to begin with … he’s very principled and he doesn’t want to violate those principals, and I respect that.”
Whipple also stated, “I have never had a client before object to a judge’s release order. He said he would prefer to be detained. He’s the boss, and I accept his position.”
Ammon was released on the morning of November 30, 2017. Judge Navarro had yet to hear from Judge Brown on her decision on Ryan Payne’s release conditions and bond. He would not be released until the next day.
I arrived early to find a crowd had already gathered. Family, friends and supporters stood near the courthouse steps shivering in the cold. The weather did not hamper the excitement of Ammon’s release.
A close friend of Ammon and his wife, Lisa, had driven to Emmitt, Idaho, to pick up their children. Sarah Redd Buck then drove all night to Las Vegas, a 650 mile journey, so the children could see their father for the first time in 2 years.
Nine o’clock was the scheduled release time. It came and went and still no Ammon. Finally at around 11:30 he walked out of the revolving door, a conditional free man. The crowd screamed and applauded as Ammon emerged. His family ran, grabbing him anywhere they could to get and give hugs.
His wife kissed and held on to him. This was the first time she had touched him since the day he was arrested in Oregon. Friends, supporters and family were all in tears. Some of the supporters had been with him at the refuge and had stood trial with him.
Cell phone cameras caught the event on video and snapshots. Network news cameras rolled showing the world what was taking place. Newspaper and magazine reporters were jotting down their impressions on note pads.
Ammon and the crowd moved toward a gaggle of reporters and television cameras. I stuck my digital recorder into the crowd hoping to document everything he had to say. Helicopters flying over, traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard and crowd noise sometimes drowned out his words, but most of them were captured.
A reporter asked Ammon why Judge Navarro released them after refusing to release them earlier. Ammon replied, “I can’t fully tell you the reasons why because there has been sealed hearings and so forth that I don’t want to speak about. But I think she said it best right after she released us, and that was that the evidence of the government since producing against us in trial has not been coming forth the way they have presented it, and she has seen that and she decided in the effort of justice to release us. And we’ve known that was always going to be the case, but we have suffered for two years trying to tell the world that what happened there was not what the government has been saying. And we are going to continue to show that in the court room, that what we did was right. What we did was according to our rights and more Americans need to do the same thing.”
Another reporter asked Ammon how difficult had his time in jail been. “It was very difficult. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a very good prisoner. I felt and as well as others, not just me, that we were innocent and we were not afforded the presumption of innocents. If we look at the Bill of Rights, I think almost half of them are there to protect the accused. The accused has a right to a fair and speedy trial. The accused has a right to counsel. The accused has a right to call witnesses in their defense. They were put in there for a reason. They were put in there to protect the accused. I think maybe we have forgotten that a little bit because there’s a tremendous amount of people that are being accused, incarcerated and separated from their families.”
Referring to his son he was holding in his arms, Ammon said, “When I went in this little guy was 11 months old and I’ve missed two years of his life. I have a great opportunity to get to know him again, so I don’t believe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I believe you are supposed to be presumed innocent first.”
A TV reporter asked, “You said earlier that what you did was the right thing, what did you mean by that?”
“What I mean by that is, identify their rights and stand up for them, recognize what they are. Recognize that we do have a right to assemble, peacefully assemble, and to grieve our government. Recognize that our government does make mistakes and it’s the duty of the people to stand up to that, peacefully, and say no more, don’t do that, but that is our duty, if we don’t we will lose them. History proves that, and that’s what I mean.
Another reporter said, “Now the government has, in their case they are saying, that you did not peacefully assembly in 2014 at Bunkerville. How are you going to dispute that?”
“Well,” Ammon replied, “I think the trial will show itself that, and I’m not going to go into the details about it, but it already is. I’m standing out here and I don’t think I would be if the evidence wasn’t proving that we were at least somewhat less innocent than what they thought last week we were, and so this is where we are, and that’s what I mean.”
“The jury shouldn’t, or doesn’t know that you’ve been released because they weren’t there when the judge made that decision,” said a reporter. “What do you think the release says about the way the trial is going, and what are you planning on wearing when you are back in court?”
“Well, I think again just by being here …we have to … I want to give Judge Navarro some credit here you know, in the sense that, when we might dispute or disagree about the subject matter, jurisdiction and all of that, but she saw something and she did with her power what she had the authority to do, and I’m standing here because of that. And I want to recognize that. That was goodness of her to do that and I think she was fair, she wasn’t favoring us or favoring somebody else, she was doing her job, and I think because of that it shows where the evidence is taking this case and what the truth is. As far as what I’m going to wear out, I’ll wear what I wear to church before I got thrown in prison.” Pointing to his orange jail shoes, he said, “I’ll wear my cowboy boots, if I can get away with it.”
In the meantime the lawyers of Mel Bundy, Dave Bundy, Jason Woods, Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Brian Cavalier had filed a motion for pre-trial release. The prosecution had no objections to their release, because they had no grounds to object.
On December 4th, thinking the hearing was at 8:30 am, I awakened at 6 am for the 2 hour drive into Las Vegas. That’s 5 am St. George, Utah time. Once there I found that the hearing was not scheduled until 10:30 am in Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen’s court. I seem to have a hard time getting my times right.
Mel and Dave Bundy, Jason Woods and Joseph O’Shaughnessy were released in increments starting at 4:30 pm.
Judge Navarro said she has in hand a plea agreement signed by Joseph O’Shaughnessy, but details will be not be revealed until his sentencing.
Micah McGuire had previously taken a plea deal and was awaiting sentencing in February 2018. Brian Cavalier had pleaded guilty to various charges in Oregon, and was sentenced to time served by Judge Brown. It was not clear if Navarro would him or not.
Dave Bundy was the first to walk out of the revolving door, his cowboy hat in hand waving to the crowd. This elicited shouts of excitement from the crowd of about 50 supporters as his son rushed to embrace him. The rest of his family ran as one, encircling him in one giant hug as supporters snapped pictures of the emotional reunion.
Jason Woods came out about a half an hour later greeted by his mother, and a swarm of supporters.
I had been standing outside in the cold wind since early morning resulting in a sore throat and other cold symptoms, so I decided not to wait for Mel and O’Shaughnessy’ to come out. I had no doubt they would be received with tears of joy and shouts of excitement, as well.