Defense lawyers waive closing arguments, Bunkerville retrial heads to jury
By Brian Seay
The site of the 2014 Battle of Bunkerville, in the Toquop Wash underneath Interstate 15 – about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. (Photo: Robert Anglen/The Republic)
In a dramatic conclusion to a weeks-long legal fight, defendants waived closing arguments Tuesday and a jury began deliberating in the retrial of four men facing several felony charges for their role in the 2014 Battle of Bunkerville.
Lawyers for Scott Drexler, Eric Parker and Steven Stewart, all of Idaho, and Oklahoma native Richard Lovelien chose not to deliver a final address to the jury before deliberations, according to the Arizona Republic.
“The message is simple,” said lawyer Shawn Perez Tuesday afternoon. “You silenced us the entire trial … there’s nothing more to say.”
The four men face 10 felony charges including conspiracy, weapon possession and assault on a federal officer stemming from a tense, six-day standoff between dozens of armed ranchers and U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials. People came from all over the country to support Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who’d spent decades refusing to pay grazing fees to the federal government. BLM agents came to collect cattle in lieu of the payments. The incident ended when the agents retreated. No shots were fired and