Judge in Bundy Ranch Standoff Case Denies Defendants Bill of Particulars

Specifics of allegations buried in 1.4TB of digital data…

Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen again denied a motion from O. Scott Drexler that would require the Government to produce a Bill of Particulars. This record contains a more exhaustive list describing specific, overt actions by a defendant which result in the basis for a criminal indictment. As it stands now, Drexler (along with Parker, Stewart, and Engel) are under indictment with more than a dozen other defendants. Many of these defendants, though charged with the same crime(s), have fundamentally different avenues for defense. A Bill of Particulars helps a defendant understand the process by which their brought about an indictment.

Going back to May 2016…

Drexler (and others) first requested a Bill of Particulars in May 2016. The Government argued that they had graciously provided above and beyond the minimum requirements for evidence and that the 66-page superseding indictment, along with voluminous discovery evidence, left little to question with regard to the genesis of the indictment. The Court sided with the Government, also citing that Drexler’s motion did not meet timing requirements as set forth in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Drexler pointed out that his arraignment and initial court appearance was in the District of Idaho. After that appearance, Drexler completed extradition to the District of Nevada. During this time, a new court-appointed attorney had to be established. The standard time limit of 14 days after arraignment became fundamentally unattainable.

New attorney, new motion, still denied…

Drexler obtained new legal counsel on 30 September 2016. This new attorney also saw the need to clarify exactly why Drexler was under indictment. On 29 November 2016, Drexler filed yet another motion requesting from the Government a Bill of Particulars. In this case, the Court cited the length of time since arraignment and, along with some other factors, subsequently denied the request.

Why insist on a Bill of Particulars?

Two attorneys representing Drexler filed motions for a Bill of Particulars. As it stands now, each defendant faces broad, vague accusations in the superseding indictment. The allegations accuse people on the bridge and people in the wash of the same crimes. Discovery evidence topped out a whopping 1.4 terabytes of digital data. To put that in perspective, if the average iPhone has 64GB of data capacity, discovery could fill 22 iPhones. Most PC, Mac, and laptop devices have less than a terabyte of hard disk capacity.

The result…

The Government expects that defendants, facing effective life sentences, should be able to wade through a virtual mountain of evidence and build an effective defense. Each defendant faces 16 criminal counts. Each defendant, despite the absence of prior or relevant criminal history, is denied pretrial release. All defendants in the Tier 3 designation retain court-appointed attorneys. Defendants had to request sufficient technological capabilities in prison to be able to view discovery evidence. The Government believes this to be sufficient.

The Court, to no surprise, concurs.

Leen [1268] Order Denying Drexler Motion [1039] for Bill of Particulars by Anthony Dephue on Scribd

 

Reposted with Permission from Bundy Ranch Standoff

Anthony Dephue

Anthony Dephue lives, works, and plays in and around Boise, ID. Holding dear the pursuit of life and liberty, he is an active participant with and supporter of patriot-minded and 2nd Amendment groups. The unfettered right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is, as the Founders intended, the last and final stop-gap to runaway tyranny from a strong central government; it is the foundation by which all other God-given and enumerated rights derive lasting efficacy.

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