Defense attorneys sat silently Tuesday, rather than give closing arguments for the four men facing a retrial in the Bundy Ranch standoff.
Hamstrung throughout the trial by a judge’s decision to limit the witnesses they could call, the questions they could ask and the testimony their clients could give, the lawyers made the final decision, a statement of sorts, after discussing the option with the defendants — Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien — during a lunch break.
“It was a strategic decision,” said lawyer Jess Marchese, who represents Parker. “We thought we gained more by not giving a closing argument than the government giving a rebuttal.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Ahmed spent more than two hours in the late morning and early afternoon laying out the case against each of the four men, charged with driving from other states to Bunkerville in April 2014 to support rancher Cliven Bundy, who prosecutors allege conspired to thwart the federal government’s roundup of roughly 1,000 cows from public land.