On Thursday, Judge Gloria Navarro sentenced Todd Engel, who was convicted of two charges during the trials involving men in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, to 14 years in federal prison, and failed to reference one time the fact that she dismissed the final Bundy trial due to violations of law by prosecutor Steven Myhre, who was actually allowed to be part of the prosecution’s statements during Engel’s sentencing.
In a report from Shari Dovale at Redoubt News, she believes, as does Engel, that his conviction would never have been given if it were not for Facebook posts.
It has been determined that Engel’s actions during the protest were non-violent. He is shown in photographs, and through testimony, to have attempted to peacefully resolve the situation with the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP).
However, before traveling to Bunkerville, Engel and several others made Facebook posts on his account that were considered “over the top”.
Engel spoke on his own behalf asking the judge to take into consideration his non-violent actions at the standoff, apologizing for his part in it, and asking for mercy. Engel was clear that if it was not for Facebook, he would not be standing in that courtroom. He was being sentenced for typical social media postings, not for his actions during the event.
The Judge took a hard stance and stated that she did not believe his remorse. It was then that she pronounced sentence.
As though to thrust the corruption tolerated under the current administration via the Jeff Sessions Department of Justice, Steven Myhre was actually allowed to be in the courtroom rather than be arrested and charged with crimes against Engel and others.
Again, Dovale reports:
The prosecution team consisted of Daniel Scheiss and Steven Myhre. The first hour consisted of Scheiss denigrating Engel through his monologue, with Myhre having every appearance of not being allowed to speak from the second chair.
The majority of the hearing was arguing by the prosecution for more time on the sentencing. The prosecution asked for as much as 262 months (nearly 22 years) and the defense countered with good arguments for time served.
Scheiss made several statements that indicated the prosecution’s position was that citizens should not challenge their government under any circumstances. “When someone like Cliven Bundy loses in court, he may be upset, but that does not give him the right to call for militia to respond.”
Scheiss also talked of the special protections that are given to police officers, with the only exception being self defense. What is interesting about this statement is that the defendants, including Engel, were not allowed to use a self-defense argument during the trial, though there was evidence for it. Judge Navarro has even referenced this argument in her rulings against the prosecution’s request for a new trial. However, she did not allow Engel to use this argument, even though she has cited it specifically previously.
Several references were made to other incidents that Engel was not convicted of, including the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Engel traveled to the refuge with the specific intent of asking Ammon Bundy to leave the refuge before anyone got hurt. Just the fact that Engel traveled to Oregon seemed to be enough for Daniel Scheiss to convict him for that protest.
Additionally, the pre-sentencing report referenced charges that Engel was indicted for but never convicted. It would seem that in Federal court, a defendant can be sentenced to serve time for the figurative “ham sandwich” if the government so chooses. Indictment is enough, conviction of all charges is not necessary.
Dovale pointed out in a follow-up post:
Engel was convicted of what Navarro described as two “lesser” charges consisting of Obstruction of Justice (for his time on the bridge above the wash) and Interstate travel in aid of extortion ( for traveling from Idaho with intent to aid in extortion).
However, Engel was sentenced to charges of which he was not convicted. Navarro specifically referenced assault among other charges when determining his sentence. Engel questioned this during his time to speak. Navarro stated that he did not understand the justice system, in which they have a different standard for sentencing than during trial.
Navarro said, though the jury was “hung” on the remaining charges and the prosecution chose not to retry him on these charges, this did not make him “innocent” of the charges. Therefore they used these additional charges to determine the sentence.
This means that you can be indicted for a multitude of crimes, get convicted for a single crime, yet be sentenced for the other crimes as well, if the judge chooses to do so.
It is another gross miscarriage of justice.
Seriously, considering the criminal actions of the prosecution and what I see as nothing more than a complicit judge in the matter, Engel should have at least had a retrial with all the evidence presented and the jury be instructed that the prosecution had committed crimes against him to keep him from having a fair trial, something he did not receive.
Furthermore, the misrepresentation by the prosecution, namely Scheiss, in this sentencing is over the top. I think it absolutely does carry weight that the Bundys called in friends and militia when they noticed that snipers were set up around their house, all over a bunch of cows and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as the FBI and the prosecution sought to deceive the court and the jury about that. There is no doubt the federal government’s goons were threatening the lives of the Bundy family, or at the least, intimidating them.
Engel left the courtroom stating:
“Freedom is Not Free.”
Engel should have been given a retrial, as should Greg Burleson, who also was convicted of several charges, considering the fact that Judge Navarro, a Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah appointment, knew that the prosecution withheld evidence that could have been used to find these men innocent. However, the government will not give them a retrial.
The corruption during the Bundy Ranch trials was so bad that Prosecutor Myhre didn’t want to let the defense defend themselves, and Navarro sided with the prosecution. As far as I’m concerned, she is worthy of impeachment, and this latest episode of injustice demonstrates that.
On a final note, the trial of the defendants in the Bunkerville standoff was not the first time the Steven Myhre had broken the law and violated the rights of other defendants. Allowing this man to serve in any capacity of prosecution is not only a joke, but is an open demonstration of the hypocrisy of the Department of Justice and Judge Navarro’s court. Continuing to allow him in the prosecutor’s office only hardens him in his criminal activity. Though he was quietly demoted after the DOJ investigated his office, he still remains there to influence and help prosecute even though Judge Navarro has deemed he and his office broke the law.
Here’s Andrea Parker, wife of Eric Parker, with more details on the sentencing.
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