Sunday, April 20, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Danny was found guilty on all counts.
I would like to say thank you to everyone who gave us their support and for keeping Danny and our family in your prayers throughout this ordeal. The outpouring of support has been very humbling and we are forever grateful to each and every one of you.
We are deeply saddened by the verdict but continue to rely on our faith and trust in the will of God to get us through this extremely difficult time.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Here are the final instructions given by the Judge and the actual notes from the Jury and the Judge's responses.
Final Jury Instructions
Jury Note 1
Jury Note 2
Jury Note 3
Jury Note 4
Jury Note 5 (this is the video blog exhibit referred to in this note)
Jury Note 6
Jury Note 7
Monday, April 7, 2008
In light of the video evidence that has been presented to the Jury and which was later posted on the internet by the Ridley Report. I would hope that the Concord Monitor will be able to live up to its journalistic responsibilities and correctly report on the evidence presented. It has been clear throughout the Monitor's reporting that it has sought to always give the government the benefit of the doubt and when it is later shown that the government had indeed lied to the public, the Monitor continues to extend the benefit of the doubt to the government by accepting, without question, its reasons for lying. I thank God that in our system of justice, all doubt must be rightfully resolved in favor of the accused and I would hope that the Concord Monitor would seek to adjust the disingenuous nature of its reporting caused by consistently seeking to resolve doubt against the accused. Hopefully a future editorial from the Monitor will seek to clarify for the public its position on this matter.
(The comment section of this blog is open for moderated comments, unlike the Concord Monitor which doesn't allow the public to directly comment, moderated or otherwise, on its articles)
Saturday, April 5, 2008
The day picked up with cross examination of Reno by the prosecution. The prosecution asked if Reno was aware of the conviction for tax evasion and he said he was not aware that they were convicted but he explained that he was aware there was a legal situation with the Brown's. He explained how his main reason for going there was to prevent Ed and Elaine Brown from being killed by law enforcement. He indicated that he did bring 2 weapons with him to New Hampshire including a 22 caliber semi automatic pistol and a 9mm semi-automatic rifle. He explained that he took them with him for self defense. He was asked if he brought a 50 caliber weapon to the Brown's, he explained that he had purchased the 50cal and kept in in his car most of the time and he did bring it in the house and kept it near his sleeping quarters. He explained how after the falling out with Ed he took everything with him. He indicated that he carried a gun frequently while at the Brown's and that he couldn't tell from the helicopter footage on 6/7/2007 if he was carrying a rifle but that he was sure he did on that day. He talked about the photos that showed him carrying a rifle and he explained how he would shoulder a rifle to kept it safe so that it wasn't left laying around outside the house when there were a lot guest there. He was asked about the times he went to the commercial property to open it so Mr. MacDonald could look at the property. He explained how he wouldn't take any weapons into town because he felt that is "wasn't a good idea". He indicated that he never saw Danny with a 50 cal weapon and that he never told Jason that he needed to get firearms to protect himself. At one point he was asked if he ever contacted the Marshal's to try and negotiate a peaceful settlement. He indicate that he had not and that he didn't trust them. (On cross examination, Mr. Wiberg attempted to introduce into evidence the June 2007 Article 49 letter that Reno had signed along with Ed Brown and Randy Weaver to compel the Governor of New Hampshire to intervene to stop the standoff peacefully. The Judge excluded that from evidence after a sidebar discussion so the Jury will not see it.)
On cross examination by Danny's lawyer, Sven Wiberg, Reno was asked if he noticed any injuries on Danny when he came back to the house on 6/7/2007. He did and Mr. Wiberg was able to introduce 2 photos of Danny's injuries from that day. The jury saw a close up photo of the head contusions Danny suffered when the Marshal's bashed his head into the ground that day. They also saw a close up photo of the puncture wound caused by the taser prong on his upper left chest area. Mr. Wiberg attempted to introduce into evidence Danny's video blog on that day as well as the King Mob interview of Danny shortly following the incident. Again, after a sidebar discussion the Judge excluded that evidence and the Jury will not see it.
Mr. Kinsella got up to deliver the closing arguments for the prosecution. The prosecution explained points of law regarding conspiracy and how an implicit agreement between the conspirators was all that was required to establish that a conspiracy existed. The prosecution closing arguments focused on the ATF 4473 forms from the various weapons purchased by Reno, Danny and Jason and several emails between Danny and Reno and how that established beyond "any doubt" that a conspiracy existed. It was argued that Reno went up there to be part of all the attention and to prevent the Marshals from executing the arrest warrants for Ed an Elaine. The prosecution brought up the threats that Ed had made against law enforcement. The prosecution played a 1 minute clip from the Reno KingMob interview from the observation deck. Comments from the radio broadcast on the night shots were fired in the woods in which Danny said "this is the real deal, we have rounds in the chamber." Mr. Kinsella held up the 50 caliber weapons and emphasized how extremely powerful these weapons were and that they were intended to be used to kill US Marshals. The prosecution focused on the statements Jason had made at the Lebanon police station which he said that law enforcement was violating the Constitution and that was treason and the penalty for treason was death. He said Jason went up to the Brown's because he wanted a confrontation. The testimony of Mr. Tanner regarding how Tannerite could potentially "kill" someone or at least damage their hearing was emphasized. The prosecution wrapped up by saying the evidence in this case established beyond "any doubt" that the defendants were guilty.
Jason lawyer, then got up in front of the Jury and went into detail about the incident were Jason got into the car accident with Elaine's car. He described how all of the sudden Marshal's showed up at the scene and seized the car without any paperwork and prevented him from getting his belongings and stranded him and his 2 female companions there. How this was perceived, for all intents and purposes, as theft and that Jason went to the police station to file a stolen vehicle complaint which was the correct course of action, to file a "piece of paper" against the Marshal's. He explained how Jason was in the police station when again, all of the sudden, 4 Marshal's show up and questioned Jason for at least an hour and that, mysteriously, there was no video record of the encounter being that it was in a police station. He talked about how Jason wanted to report on the Brown situation and he held up the school newspapers in which Jason articles appeared. He emphasized how all the weapons purchased were legal. He finished by stating how all these facts established more than enough reasonable doubt and that the Jury must find Jason not guilty.
Sven Wiberg, Danny's lawyer then got up to present his closing arguments to the Jury. He began by emphasizing how our founding fathers gave us the jury system so that a jury could stand as the "last line of defense" for the rights of the individual and how each juror was an "army of one" standing against tyranny. He then got into the details of the case and he focused on how the prosecution's "star witness", Bob Wolfe, had basically been a disaster for the prosecution. How the entire "house of cards" of their case came tumbling down on his testimony. He explained how the half truths he had been telling were eating away at him and that his "better angels" took over and he told the one full truth of his testimony that there was "no agreement," there was "no plan," implicit or otherwise, by these defendants and based on that there was no conspiracy. He explained the pressure Bob Wolfe was under and how the government had threatened his wife with indictment if he didn't cooperate. He then got into the testimony of the prison snitch planted by the Feds, Anthony Dorothy, he said Dorothy was a "liar" of the worst kind, a career criminal, a career witness for the government and a 3 time "child molester". He attacked the factual inconsistencies in his testimony including how he stated that Danny had brought a sawed off pump shotgun to the Brown's and that no sawed off shotgun, let alone a pump shotgun was ever found at the Brown's or at Danny's home. He explained how the Tannerite was used for long distance target shooting and how the Brown's had a shooting range on the property that was frequently used. He explained how active targets were needed because of the impracticality of walking hundreds of yards every time to see if the target was hit. Mr. Wiberg emphasized that the indictment clearly required that the defendants had to know that the Brown's had committed a crime and not merely been convicted of a crime. Danny believed in his heart that the Brown's were convicted on a non law and therefore they had committed no crime, the defendants repeated many time for the government to "Show them the law". Based on all of this doubt the entire house of cards that was the prosecution's case had to come tumbling down. He emphasized that we have all these weapons in evidence for the prosecution but what you didn't see was the huge arsenal of weapons that the government brought to bear that day in June 2007. He explained that their own video showed a massive arsenal of weaponry and that everything changed after that incident. He indicated that there was also a "big brother" aspect of this case with emails, videos, helicopter surveillance, phone taps etc. He noted that "physical evidence doesn't lie, people do" and that none of the pipe bombs, zip guns and Tannerite had any trace of DNA or fingerprints from the defendants. He noted that the government had no probable cause to detain Danny on June 7th, they had admitted in testimony that he did nothing wrong that day and they still shot at him, tackled him, bashed his head into the ground and tasered him. He explained the importance of the different standards of evidence and that the highest standard we have in our system is beyond reasonable doubt and that based on that and the evidence, the jury had to find Danny Riley not guilty.
David Bownes, Reno's lawyer, then got up and delivered and very elegant closing statement where he explained that Reno's testimony was 100% reliable, that he went up there to further his causes and that he was seeking to meet folks of like mind. He explained how the evidence showed that none of the destructive devices could be associated with Reno, and that Reno had no desire to come out of the Brown's house shooting at Marshals so he could go down in a "blaze of glory". He explained how the Marshal's where never visible and how nobody was ever prevented by the Marshal's from going up to the Brown's until September 15, 2007. Mr. Bownes then presented that the most likely scenario was that Ed Brown "went crazy" after the arrest of the four supporters on September 12, 2007 and that he was isolated and alone. Ed then began hanging Tannerite in the trees and assembling pipe bombs and zip guns so he could go down in a blaze of glory. He ended by saying that Reno was indeed a man of peace and that the Jury had to find Cirino Gonzalez not guilty.
The prosecution then got up to deliver a short rebuttal. The prosecution clarified a view points of law regarding conspiracy and denied that the Marshal's tried to kill Danny on 6/7/2007. What was stark about the prosecutions rebuttal was that it appeared to me that the wind had been taken out of Mr. Kinsella's sails, his delivery of the rebuttal was weak and lacked passion and energy. Which was understandable after the jury heard nearly 3 hours of defense closing arguments.
The Judge then dismissed the Jury for the weekend. On Monday the Jury will hear over 20 pages of jury instructions then begin deliberations.
Trial - day 9 events:
He was trained on all the weapons on the destroyer including missile systems, 5 inch guns, small arms etc. He was married after boot camp and has 4 children ages 11, 9, 7 and 5. He left the Navy after the 9/11 incident and held several jobs including working as a correction officer at a half way house for just under a year. He had a falling out with management and left. He said the problem they had with him was that he "cared more about individual rights than his fellow officers." He then became a bouncer and at a dance club worked a short time in a liquor store and as a security guard at a hospital. He ended up taking a position as a weapons mechanic with an independent contractor working for the Department of Defense in Iraq, he was able to get that position because of the secret clearance he had obtained while in the Navy. He spent 6 months in Iraq. He became disillusioned with the poor quality control that resulted in sub standard weaponry being sent back to troops in the field. He had experienced the realities of the war in Iraq. He described how after he voiced his concern with quality control he received death threats. He was told you should shut up because mortars were falling all around and one may fall on you. He quit the job because "he didn't want a mortar to fall on him." He left Iraq in July 2006. He than conducted research on the "truth movement" and "depleted uranium". He described depleted uranium armor piercing ammunition as basically a "dirty bomb". He was asked why he bought a 50 caliber weapon. He described it as an investment because the prices were going up and the wait to obtain one in Texas was long. He also described how he felt the government was trying to outlaw them and that he believed in exercising his 2nd amendment rights. He had a concealed carry license from Texas. He described how he was working on a project with Mr. Al-Oboudi to go back to Iraq and that he gave all his weapons to his brother because he "didn't expect to make it back". He described how he first saw Tannerite at the Stone Eagle gun shop and that he was interested in 50 caliber shooting competitions because the prize money was good.
Reno said there was no talk of intimidating the US Marshals at the first jamboree, he never left any ammunition at the Brown's. He had no knowledge of any of the weapons purchased after May. Never saw any pipe bomb parts. He described an incident where Ed showed him a zip gun and asked if he make them, he said he wouldn't because he felt they would be like a mine and could kill indiscriminately, were illegal, and it was a "bad idea". Never saw any wire for zip guns, never saw Tannerite packages in the trees. He mentioned that pipe bombs were brought up jokingly in conversations with some of the guest of the Brown's. He did see cans of gun powder in the basement but that they had not been modified or had nails taped to them. He mention that Ed bragged about getting the gun powder by the government. he described the events on 6/7/2007 which was the day of the aborted arrest attempt by the Marshals. He described that he was woke up by Ed telling him that Zoey the dog came back without Danny and he thought he heard shots in the woods (Government video showed that shots were indeed fired at Danny). He then described how he and Ed went searching around the property for Danny thinking that he could be dead. He then described how Danny showed up later that same day and how Danny was beat up, scared, upset and crying. Reno said how Ed didn't trust him and Ed would ask him "why are you here?" Reno said, "it was because of the cause that we are slaves to the government." He said shortly after that he felt there was no longer any value to being at the Brown's and that it was a "waste of time". He described the falling out he had with Ed shortly after Ed met his father Jose. He said that Reno's father was a "soulless, godless communist" and that he was his seed and had to leave. Reno responded that sometimes "Ed was a Jerk". He left with Lisa Mullenex and spent some time traveling from hotel to hotel in Vermont and Pennsylvania and he urged Lisa not to go back to the Brown's. He described how several other supporters had contacted him and tried to get him to return but to no avail. He didn't respond to the "Red Alert" email that Danny had sent out because by the time he read the email it was already old. He ended up back in Texas where he ended up associating with Cindy Sheehan and the Iraq peace movement. He was asked by Cindy Sheehan to be part of her security for a trip back to Iraq with Mr. Al-Oboudi.
End of day 9.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Before the jury was brought in, each of the defendants lawyers made and argued motions to dismiss. All were denied. The jury was brought in and the Prosecution rested its case.
The defense case began with Jason's lawyer entering into evidence 2 videos from Ed and Elaine Browns house from the July 2007 jamboree. One was a video which showed the scenes from the jamboree including families with children playing by the small pond near the house. It also showed Jason giving hamburgers to the police at the end of the driveway. The second video showed the homeland security helicopter buzzing dangerously low near the house. The prosecution objected to the sound on the video so the jury will get a copy without sound. Following this, Jason's defense rested.
Danny's lawyer, Sven Wiberg, called Marshal Stephen Monier to the stand. Monier was aware ahead of time that the operation on the 6/7/2007 was an operation to ambush and arrest Ed Brown at the mailbox. They had been conducting covert surveillance operations prior to that day. Marshal Monier was given broad latitude by the judge to go on long narrative explanations well beyond the scope of the question, consistently overruling defense objections. The Marshall had a trace of a smile when asked about whether Ed Brown had offered to come out if they would show the law, he denied that Ed made that offer. He explained that Danny was taken into custody because he had basically discovered their covert operation to arrest Ed. The Marshal kept reiterating to the jury how the Marshal service had gone to "extraordinary lengths" to ensure that nobody was hurt and that Ed Brown was taken into custody safely. (The ~50 heavily armed, special operations paramilitary police on the property were for safety??) He revealed that 2 armor personal carriers were nearby. He admitted he misled the public at the press conference following the incident and basically took advantage of all the police horse power assembled for the botched arrest attempt to instead serve the seizure warrants on the Brown's commercial property. He mentioned that he made a conscience decision to proceed with caution back on Jan 12, 2007 based on threatening statements Ed Brown had made. (The jury hasn't seen any actual threatening statements made by Ed, only hearsay at this point.)
A hearing followed on whether to allow a fellow inmate Josh McLellan, that was in max with Danny and Anthony Dorothy, to testify and impeach Dorothy. McLellan took the 5th and the judge would not grant any limited immunity. McLellan had overheard conversations between Danny and Dorothy while in max and would contest Dorothy's testimony. Because of this the jury will not hear any testimony from McLellan. Following this, Danny's defense rested.
Reno's defense called Charles (Mike) Hearington to the stand. Mr. Hearington testified that he met Reno at a "Media Reform" conference in Memphis, Tn. Reno provided security for a political protest in which the "chain gang" puppet heads of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice marched down Beale street in Memphis. One of the protest members was attacked and an altercation ensued. Reno acted to protect the protesters and break up the altercation and no one was hurt in the incident. They met again in Washington, DC at a Veterans for Peace rally against the Iraq war. They then met again at a 2007 Easter weekend rally and fund raiser for Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx. Reno and Mr. Hearington drove from Texas to Memphis and Reno mentioned that he was heading up to the Brown's in New Hampshire after dropping Mr. Hearington off in Memphis. He described Reno as a "peaceful and just person". On cross examination, the prosecution brandished a 50cal weapon from the exhibits in front of the witness and asked "would this change your opinion of Mr Gonzales's peacefulness?" Mr. Hearington responded "not necessarily, it's not illegal to own a weapon." This testimony came out in spite of the prosecution's repeated objections and numerous side bar arguments. Which was in stark contrast to Marshal Monier's wide latitude and rambling narrative answers that the judge allowed over repeated defense objections.
The next witness called was Nebeil Al-Oboudi. Mr. Al-Oboudi is a construction worker from the Houston area. He met Reno at the 2007 Easter rally in Crawford Texas. They became "strong" friends over the course of the 3 day rally and talked extensively of continuing peace activism. Mr. Al-Oboudi described Reno as a person who had "seen hell (in Iraq) and was trying to explain it to people who were blind." His opinion was that Reno was a peaceful person. On cross, again the prosecution brandished a 50cal weapon in front of the witness and asked "would a peaceful person own this weapon?" Mr. Al-Oboudi paused for 15 seconds then answered "I don't judge a man by the weapons he owns but by the content of his heart and his actions" (best quote of the trial). Again, this testimony was frequently interrupted by prosecution objections and side bar arguments with the judge heavily limiting the ability of the witness to answer questions.
End of day 8.
Yesterday we were suppose to see Elaine Brown called to the stand but it looks like that is not going to happen. It seems that this judge doesn't want any witness to take the 5th on the stand in front of the jury so almost all of the defense witnesses that were on the Brown property are taking the 5th and not being allowed to testify. The prosecution is using this as a tool to effectively shutdown most of the defense witnesses (isn't that special?). Immunity anyone? (Not likely.)
So now we have a situation were the jury will not hear extremely relevant testimony because having a witness plead the 5th on the stand would make the defendants look innocent (and we just can't have that). Yet without their testimony this trial is beginning to look like a joke (but I will reserve judgement until all of this case has been presented to the jury).
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I was not at the trial for day 6 testimony. You can review a summary of the events in the Concord Monitor.
The prosecution called Anthony Dorothy, a career criminal and convicted child molester. The prosecution ran through his extensive criminal record which included 2 escape attempts, 3 counts of sexual assault of a minor, theft, possession of a firearm while on supervised release etc. The rap sheet on this guy goes back 16 years. He has had his sentences reduced several times by turning informant on several people. Each time he was “not promised any leniency” by the prosecutors, but of course, he received it. Each time there was a successful conviction he received a 5 year reduction in his sentence. What was ironic about these reductions was that he was let out on supervised release much sooner and subsequently committed more crimes (what a deal the public got for their federal tax dollars hard at work). He is currently facing up to a 19 year sentence on a conviction out of Michigan. He testified that he had approximately 12 conversations with Danny and that he told him the following:
- That he helped to make zip guns (from prior testimony, no DNA or fingerprints of Danny’s were found on anything).
- Delivered a 12 gauge shotgun to the Browns.
- Placed 1 lb Tannerite bombs around the property (previous testimony from Daniel Tanner identified that Danny had ordered ½ lb Tannerite targets).
- Assembled cans with nails taped to them (again, no DNA or fingerprints).
Dorothy told the jury that he was promised “a letter” from the Prosecution that could be used at a sentence reduction hearing by his federal lawyer or his state lawyer back in Michigan but that he was not “promised” leniency in return for his testimony (Riiiight, and how long can you tread water?). On cross examination it was revealed that he was transferred from Michigan to the Strafford County Jail on 2/15 and to the very same housing pod that a high profile federal inmate was awaiting trial. He was only at the jail for 6 days in total and happened to compile all of the above information in that short period of time (Riiight, looks like and smells like a setup by the feds). Dorothy described a well throughout plan he came up with to escape from jail in which an outside accomplice placed a sawed off shotgun above the ceiling tiles of a bathroom in the hospital he was to visit the next day to get a cast removed from his leg (brilliant!). This guy was, to me, a portrait of evil, a career false witness and cunning career criminal. As far as Mr. Dorothy’s credibility goes? Not much. (here is his Michigan Rap Sheet)
Next witness was Kenneth Nunes, a Deputy US Marshal assigned to the Ed and Elaine Brown case since January 2007. This witness was stationed in the Command Post during the “Botched” arrest attempt of Ed and Elaine on 6/7/2007 (see log from that day). The plan was to arrest Ed as he came down the driveway on his tractor to get the mail then to call Elaine out once they had Ed. They had been doing “covert” surveillance of the area for some time before that and they had setup a hidden camera in the woods across the road from the driveway since 5/24/2007. Mr. Nunes mentioned he was watching the live video feed from the camera at the end of the drive way on the morning of 6/7/2007. He mentioned that there we some 50 agents on or near the property on that day and the day before as well as two aircraft. He said that the USM personnel had “inserted” into the area at around 3:30 am on the morning of 6/6 but that an opportunity to arrest Ed had not come about that day and they left the area close to sundown. They “inserted” again on then next day at about the same time to try the plan again. He said the plan included an arrest team at the end of the driveway and a blocking team further up the driveway. He said the arrest team was armed with “less lethal weapons” On cross examination he conceded that the teams were also armed with lethal weapons and that he wasn’t trained on less than lethal weapons although he said he seen what looked like one back at the CP. Sven Wiberg, Danny’s lawyer, played the mulit-segment video recording that was captured from the driveway camera on that morning (youtube clip here). Mr. Nunes was able to read the timestamp imprinted on the upper right corner of segment 1 that showed the time as being 6/7/2007 8:00AM, he could read it easily and clearly. For some reason, when the second segment started to play, the timestamp became blurry and Mr. Numes was no longer able to read the timestamp. Mr Wiberg also pointed out that segment 1 and 2 had some overlap. Mr. Numes was able to point out weapons that looked similar to the M4, he was also able to point out the puff of smoke from a shot.
Mr Numes was also one of the agents that responded to the incident where Jason got in a car accident while driving Elaine’s car. He described how he seized the car because it belonged to a “known fugitive”. He also described the incident at the Lebanon police station the following day in which Jason was trying to file a stolen vehicle complaint against the Marshals. He described how Jason went into a "mini rant" about how the laws they were enforcing were unconstitutional. He mentioned that Jason said they were enemies of the constitution and therefore guilty of treason and the penalty for treason is death. On cross examination it was noted that those statements were attributed to Ed Brown by Jason and not his statements. It was also noted that the Marshals had seized the car without any kind of court order, or any kind of paperwork. Stranding Jason and two female companions without transportation.
Mr. Nunes then described how he surveilled Danny going to Home Depot and then to Walmart. He noted that Danny came out of Walmart with a large envelope. They then went into the Walmart to the photo department and downloaded the photos that remained in the memory on the digital photo kiosk. They revealed that Danny had blown up a portrait of Ed and Elaine Brown (big whoop!).
End of day 7.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
The day started with a fresh blanket of pure, white, beautiful New Hampshire snow. About 2 to 4 inches of snow had fallen during the night and was continuing to fall. A quick check of the court’s web site confirmed that the trial was still on for the day. The Judge then noted when the Jury entered the court room that “New Hampshire folks are very hardy”. As a native upstate New Yorker I would have to concur, a little snow doesn’t stop much activity, if any. The majestic beauty and splendor of this small slice of creation that is New Hampshire and Vermont was so graciously laid out before me as I drove back to Albany over the higher elevations between Concord, Keene and Bennington. The fresh white snow, clinging to the trees of the wide vistas of rugged landscape, produced in me feelings of awe and humility as I retraced in my mind the week’s events at trial as the prosecution’s case marched on towards its eventual close.
Cross examination of ATF EOD expert, Mr. Erickson, recommenced. The Defense played the Tannerite promotional DVD that was found with the box at the Brown’s. The video displayed a demonstration of mixing a single 1 lb. Tannerite target. The video also displayed the uniquely robust stability aspects of the substance. A mixed target of Tannerite had a lit fuse pass completely through it with no effect. A propane blow torch was used to melt and burn a fully mixed target again with no effect. Next the video moved to the shooting range demos with the music of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” cranking on the court room speakers. The demo showed failed attempts at getting targets to detonate with smaller caliber weapons including hitting targets with fully automatic burst of tracer rounds from 5.56 caliber weapons and then actual detonations of targets with a high powered rifle as shown in the video in my previous post. Mr. Erickson played up the effects of the detonation, he noted that flying debris and heat and pressure effects would damage hearing, internal organs and could potentially be lethal. On recross Mr. Erickson conceded that Tannerite is perfectly legal and noted that the Brown’s had a shooting range on the property and that he did not search for any Tannerite targets or residue on that shooting range. It was also noted that none of the “zip guns” were found actually deployed in the woods, all of them were located still in boxes and baskets in the house. One thing that struck me about Mr. Erickson’s testimony over these last several days is that he is a cold testifying machine, a professional government witness and employee, well practiced on the witness stand, with no hesitation, robotically reciting “destructive device”, “bomb” and “firearm”, like a seasoned actor reciting William Shakespeare.
The next witness was Alfred Lindquist and employee of the Alstead gun shop. Several ATF 4473 forms were introduced into evidence, Jason Gerhard was the purchaser on all the forms. One from 7/20/07 showed the purchased a Ruger 77 223 and a Ruger 308. He attempted to pay with American Express but it was reject because the shop didn’t accept it. Another from 7/31/07 showed the purchased a Ruger 22 caliber rifle. Another from 7/25/07 showed the purchase of a Serbu BMG 50 caliber rifle. On cross examination it was noted that the 223 and the Serbu had no iron sights or a scope and that all guns purchased were perfectly legal. It was also noted that secondary sales of guns are legal and that no records are kept when such sales are made.
The next witness was John Dibernardo also of the Alstead gun shop. More ATF 4473 forms were introduced, all for Jason Gerhard. One form from 1/21/07 for a Bushmaster carbon 15 223 caliber and another form from 4/2/07 for a M44 7.62 bolt action rifle. On cross it was noted that all purchases were perfectly legal.
The next witness was Richard Taylor, the sole proprietor of the Stone Eagle gun shop in Newport, NH. The prosecution introduce into evidence an ATF 4473 form showing Daniel Riley purchased a Serbu BMG 50 caliber rifle on 5/23/2007 and it was delivered on 6/5/2007. The sales receipt was introduced that showed it was paid for with cash. It was noted that the BMG 50 caliber rifle found at the Brown’s had its serial number obliterated. The witness noted that Reno arrived at the store a short time after Danny on 5/23/2007. Another ATF 4473 form was introduced showing Cireno Gonzales purchased a Serbu BFG 50 caliber rifle on 5/23/2007 and it was delivered on 6/1/2007 and he paid by check.
The next witness was Daniel Tanner, owner of the Tannerite Company. He viewed the pictures of the Tannerite nailed to the trees and the carriage house at the Browns and stated that the detonation would “destroy the tree” and if you were standing close it would “at a minimum damage your hearing”. His sales records were entered into evidence that showed that Daniel Riley had purchased 5 cases of twenty 1/2lb targets in late May 2007. He noted that Riley called him a few days later requesting a tracking number for the shipment and he mentioned that he was staying at the Brown’s house in New Hampshire and he actually put Ed Brown on the phone to speak with Tanner. An email sent from Riley to Tanner on 6/7 was introduced into evidence. The email requested that Tanner abort the shipment of Tannerite because the Marshals had shot at, tasered and interrogated Riley that day. The Marshals had told Riley to cancel the shipment of Tannerite. On cross examination Tanner conceded that “many variables” were involved that would effect how much damage a Tannerite target would do to a tree, including if it was alive or dead, if it was soft or hard wood and the size of the tree. He also noted that no warning label was given about hanging the product in trees or buildings. He also stated that he was aware of the principle behind the Brown’s stand, he understood that they had asked the federal government to “show the law” requiring them to pay income taxes and that “there is now law” making them liable for the income tax and that the had the money and would gladly pay if they were shown the law. He also noted that the targets were mainly used to create a Hollywood flash bang type effect and that the plastic container would most likely vaporize and produce no fragmentation on detonation. He also mentioned that he was put on a distribution list and would receive emails from Riley with links to articles regarding the Brown’s situation.
The next witness was Michael Powell, an ATF firearms expert. His experience was with homemade firearms. He stated that he was able to test fire all of the zip guns found at the Brown’s. He stated that the spring was destroyed by the detonation of the shotgun shell. He explained how the device was constructed and how it was loaded with a shotgun shell. In his opinion the devices were fire arms. On cross examination it was noted that assembling and loading the devices required extensive handling and that the devices could be loaded with a blank shell to effectively become a noise maker. Also the devices would only work once because the spring would be destroyed by the shot.
End of day 5.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The day commenced with more testimony of the ATF firearm tool marking expert. Before the witness could begin testimony the prosecution again conducted what amounted to a highly inflammatory Gun Show in front of the jury box. One of the four 50cal weapons found had its serial number removed and only the first 2 digits of the 4 digit serial number were recovered by the ATF lab. All the firearms were determined to be functional as designed by the manufacturer. The prosecution asked about several types of 50cal ammunition that was found at the Brown's, including some incendiary tracer type rounds. On cross examination, the expert was asked if any of the weapons showed signs of being fired before he conducted his test on the guns, he was not able to determine that. Also the witness noted that all of the 50cals were bolt action, single shot weapons with a slow rate of fire. The expert could not make a determination as to where and when the serial numbers were obliterated.
The next witness was Gene Robinson Jr., a Marshal on the arrest team for Reno. He testified as to the weapons that were found in the mobile home where Reno lived, including a 50cal, several assault rifles and a loaded pistol in the bedroom where Reno was taken into custody. It was noted that most of the weapons found belonged to Reno’s brother or the Freemont, TX police department. The weapons that didn’t belong to Reno were returned to their owners. Ammunition was also found throughout the mobile home.
The prosecution then called Joel Edgington, a seller of magnesium ribbon on eBay. Mr. Edgington testified that he sold magnesium ribbon to Jason Gerhard. The prosecution entered into evidence the actual magnesium ribbon that was recovered at the Brown’s still in its original seal shipping envelope. Mr. Edgington opened the envelope and removed 5 small rolls of magnesium ribbon. Edgington testified that he advertised the material as a way to ignite thermite in industrial applications. He originally purchased the material in bulk thinking that it could be resold on eBay as an emergency camp fire starting tool for survival applications. He did not know why Jason had purchased the material.
Next the prosecution called Randy Shepard, the records clerk at the West Lebanon, NH Home Depot store. The purchase records and receipts of an American Express card was entered into evidence. The records showed the purchase of pipe caps, pipe nipples, flower pots, flood lights, motion detector, a ground clamp, splicer, wire shelving and a file over a period of time in May 2007. The receipts of these purchases where put up on the screen showing the timestamp of the purchase, the last four digits of the credit card number, the items and the signature of the purchaser. One signature had the letters F.U. and another had FUCK U. on it. The witness COULD NOT identify who actually made the purchases. One receipt showed that the flood lights had been RETURNED for a full refund.
Next the prosecution called Shane MacDonald who had a real estate office in Lebanon, NH. He had called Elaine Brown to discuss leasing the commercial property in West Lebanon in May 2007. The witness described several meetings with Reno in which Reno met him at the commercial property and let him in to walk around and scope out the office space. He also described a 1 hr meeting that took place at the Brown’s house in Plainfield in which the lease terms were discussed. He described how he was able to drive up to the Brown’s house without a problem. There were no guards posted or other impediments to getting to the house. He met Ed in the driveway and noted that Ed had a side arm tucked into his belt. He went into the house through the foyer and into dinning room. He noted that Reno was off in the kitchen and he could see that he had a shoulder holster on. He said the negotiations were a bit unusual in that when Ed sat down at the table, he put his side arm on the table, the jury got a bit of a laugh out of that. He never went through with the lease because the property was seized by the government on 6/7/2007.
Next the prosecution recalled the ATF EOD expert, Kent Erickson. More pipe bombs were introduced into evidence. Several pictures of a pipe bomb that was detonated by the EOD team were entered into evidence. His opinion was that the pipe bombs were destructive devices. Several shipping boxes with unmixed Tannerite found at the Brown’s with the address label of Daniel Riley were entered into evidence. Next, photos of plastic zip lock bags with 1/2 lb plastic jars of Tannerite nailed to trees at about 8ft high at various locations around the circular driveway were entered into evidence. A photo of a zip lock bag with a small Coleman lantern propane tank in it, nail to a tree at the Brown's was also entered. On cross examination it was determined that the ATF expert could not determine when the plastic bags were nailed to the trees. More photos of the bulk un-opened ammunition supplies that the browns had stockpiled were also discussed
Some background on Tannerite:
The jars were similar to these 1 lb jars of Tannerite:
Here is the manufacturer’s example of the type of explosion that a 1 lb plastic jar of Tannerite would make:
Here is another video from youtube showing what small amounts of Tannerite can do:
These are hardly the big bad “lethal bombs” that the government would like to make the jury believe they were. Everyone likes to type the word “Tannerite” into Google and immediately view the videos where they are blowing up 10, 20, 30 lbs of Tannerite at a time. That is not what we saw today, we saw single 1/2 lb plastic jars of Tannerite in zip lock bags nailed to trees along the tree line and the corner of the carriage house all at about 8 ft up with the fluorescent orange sticker on the jars clearly visible. All the Tannerite was within line of site from the front porch of the Brown’s house. This would be more like an M80 or a 1/4 stick that you would see on the 4th of July.
End of day 4.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The day started with continuation of the ATF EOD expert testimony. Several more improvised fragmentation grenades were introduced into evidence. The expert determined that all of the small cans of black powder with fuses inserted into the lids were classified as destructive devices. Cans that didn’t have fuses were not classified as destructive devices. The expert also explained and showed on a plan view of the property were his team setup bomb disassembly stations and explained how the destructive devices were disassembled.
In an unusual deviation from normal trial procedure, the judge allowed the defense to call a witness “out of order” because the witness was going on vacation next week and would not be available. The judge instructed the jury as to what was going on and allowed the defense witness to be call to the stand. The defense witness was the technical leader of the ATF DNA LAB who performed and oversaw the DNA sample collection and testing for the evidence sent to his lab from the Brown's. The expert explained how simply touching items will leave small remnants of DNA on the item that could then be collected months later and tested. He explained how DNA profiling is extremely reliable at including a person or excluding a person as a contributor of the DNA material that was collected and tested. The expert was given all the pipe bombs, improvised fragmentation grenades and firearms that were at the Browns house, over 100 items in total. DNA samples were obtained from 20 out of the 100 items. The lab collected the samples by swabbing various points on the items (e.g. the end caps of pipe bombs, the lids of black powder cans, the trigger area of a firearm, the eye piece of a rifle scope etc.). His reports from this testing conclusively EXCLUDED all the defendants. NO MATCHING DNA WAS FOUND. On cross examination it was also reveal that law enforcement DNA was detected on some of the items indicating the some evidence contamination had occurred.
Several witnesses were called from the various stores where weapons were allegedly purchased. Each witness was used to establish foundation so ATF 4473 (gov’t background check) forms from each of the purchases could be entered into evidence. The first ATF 4473 form was for a purchase of a 12 gauge shotgun made at a Sports Authority store on Long Island in the name of Jason L. Gerhard. This form showed that Jason passed the background check and legally obtained this firearm. Another store clerk witness from a Wal-Mart in Middle Island, NY talked about an ATF 4473 form of the purchase of another 12 gauge shotgun made by a person named Justin Martin Gerhard. This form showed that the person passed the background check and legally obtained the weapon. On cross examination of this witness, the defense produced the NY State driving record of one Justin Martin Gerhard with the same birth date as Jason L. Gerhard. This made it look like a case of mistaken identity and cast doubt on the relevance of that form. A third witness was used to introduce an ATF 4473 form from the purchase of a FEG KBI weapon at a store in Maryland back in 1998 by Daniel J. Riley. This form showed that the background check was passed and the weapon was legally purchased.
The prosecution then wheeled in a cart with several of the weapons collected at the Brown’s, including two 50 cal firearms, several shotguns and smaller caliber weapons. The ATF field tech that oversaw the weapons collection at the site was called to the stand. The prosecution then brandished the weapons in front of the jury, one at a time, in a highly inflammatory way and had the ATF witness match photos taken at the scene with each weapon. On cross examination it was noted that one of the 50 caliber rifles was found with no scope and no iron sights on the weapon, rendering it useless for any kind of effective target shooting.
Another ATF witness was called who was an expert in firearms and tool markings from the ATF lab outside of Washington DC. It was noted that the serial number on the FEG weapon found at the Brown’s had been removed. The ATF lab was able to fully restore the serial number for this weapon through various lab techniques. The witness explained the nature of serial numbers and the various lab techniques used to restore an obliterated serial number.
End of day 3.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The defense teams cross examined the Marshal’s IT expert regarding the emails that were exchanged between Danny and Reno. Reno’s lawyer basically got the IT expert to concede that most of the emails were one-way traffic from Danny to Reno with little or no reply traffic from Reno. Also he noted that several of the emails from Danny were to a large distribution group, one of which highlighted the fact that the Ed and Elaine story had made the front page of the LA Times, with a link to the article.
Next the prosecution introduced the video from the camera that was set up at the end of the driveway and recorded the shots that were fired at Danny on 6/7/2007. The initial playback of the video was problematic because it skipped the crucial middle video file in the sequence of 3 files. It just played the first file and skipped to the third file. The 2nd video file was played moments later and it clearly showed that of all the weapons in this whole ordeal, the only ones fired in anger were those of the government. This video clearly backs up Danny’s affidavit from that day. Now that this video is in the public domain, it should appear shortly on youtube.
The prosecution then played the Audio recording from WTP radio of the red alert incident when shots were fired in the woods during the night. Danny called the radio station and spoke with Torrin Wolf and Jack Blood. The jury got to hear this audio segment in its entirety. I thought this audio did a great job of clearly highlighting that the supporters of the browns were clearly in a defensive posture with orders to not fire unless fired upon.
The prosecution then called up the pilot of the helicopter that flew in the area of the browns property on 6/7/2007. He established foundation for a short video segment from the helicopter's gyro stabilized, high powered video camera that merely showed Ed moving the lawn mower around and repositioning the pickup truck in the garage with Reno acting as armed security.
The prosecution then showed a video of a walk through of the Browns house shortly after their arrest that showed weapons, including 50 cal rifles, positioned at the ready at strategic points throughout the house. It also showed improvised black powder nail grenades stored at various locations in the house. It also showed improvised zip guns in various stages of construction in the garage workshop area. The video also showed unmixed tannerite stored in the house. The video also highlighted the survival rations and auxiliary power setup that the browns had. It also showed Elaine’s dental setup and a hyperbaric chamber that were in the house.
The prosecution then called the lead ATF EOD expert who was on scene to dispose of the weaponry to introduce all the improvised black powder nail grenades into evidence. The ATF EOD expert also explained what tannerite was and that it was not explosive until mixed and that it was used on shooting ranges to create small explosive targets to facilitate long range target practice.
End of day 2.
Monday, March 24, 2008
The Government presented a trial brief regarding email evidence
The Defense presented a very compelling motion to suppress evidence from Danny's 6/7/2007 unlawful arrest.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
On the Habeas Corpus front, the Federal Government was allowed to intervene and the petition was removed from the Hew Hampshire Supreme Court to the Federal District Court. A ruling on a motion for the NH Supreme Court to reconsider enbanc is pending.
Jury selection for the trial happened Thursday and the trial is set to start Monday 3/24 in Concord.
Friday, February 22, 2008
State Court, Petition of the USA to Intervene
State Court, Respondents Answer to Petition of the USA to Intervene
State Court, Objection to US Petition to Intervene
Friday, February 15, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
PS: Quatloos, how do you like your crow served?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
ENDORSED ORDER as to Daniel Riley re 228 Objection to Order for Defendant to Waive his right to Speedy Trial. Text of Order: Defendant filed no written objection or raised any objection to the Court, despite being provided the opportunity to do so at the conference on January 22, 2008. Objection overruled. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/31/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion to Correct Error
ENDORSED ORDER terminating 227 MOTION to Correct Error re 137 MOTION for Writ of Mandamus as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: No action required. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/31/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion for Reconsider the Motion to Dismiss for Prosecutors Pretrial Publicity Against Defendant Causing Prejudice
ENDORSED ORDER denying 229 Motion for Reconsideration Re: 210 Motion to Dismiss for Prosecutor's Pretrial Publicity Against Defendant Causing Prejudice as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/31/2008)
ENDORSED ORDER denying 226 MOTION Requesting the Court or the Government to Prove Jurisdiction as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/31/2008)
Federal District Court, UNITED STATES, OBJECTION TO DEFENDANT RILEYS MOTION TO DISMISS FOR PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Federal District Court, Defendant, Discovery Demands 2
Federal District Court, Defendant, Discovery Demands 3
ENDORSED ORDER denying 208 MOTION to Demand Discovery Exculpatory Evidence Being Withheld as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied. Government shall provide Brady and Giglio per prior Order of the Court. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion to Dismiss, Prosecution Misconduct, Lied to Grand Jury
ENDORSED ORDER denying 218 Motion to Dismiss as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Motion Denied. The original indictment has been superseded. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/30/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion to Dismiss, Prosecutorial Misconduct
ENDORSED ORDER as to Daniel Riley 200 MOTION to Dismiss for Prosecutorial Misconduct. Text of Order: Government shall respond on or before February 1, 2008. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion in Limine to Compel Proof of Jurisdiction
ENDORSED ORDER denying 142 MOTION in Limine re: Jurisdiction Over the Defendants, Compel Answers to Question of Jurisdiction as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied as frivolous. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/15/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Constitutional Challenge, Deprivation of Guranteed Rights
ENDORSED ORDER as to Daniel Riley denying 197 Constitutional Challenge Deprivation of Guaranteed Rights. Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion for an Aquital Based on no Jurisdiction
ENDORSED ORDER denying 207 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
...and the court does nothing
ENDORSED ORDER as to Daniel Riley RE 216 Notice of Prisoner Mistreatment. Text of Order: Motion denied. No action required. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/30/2008)
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Federal-District-Court, OBJECTION TO DEFENDANT RILEY'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
Federal District Court, OBJECTION Exhibit 1
ENDORSED ORDER as to Daniel Riley 217 Objection (not to motion). Text of Order: Government did response to Defendant Riley's Motion to Suppress on January 15, 2008. See docket #147. The Court has no objection to subpoena witnesses. Defendant Riley should discuss the issues regarding how to secure the attendance of witnesses at the Suppression Hearing with standby counsel. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/30/2008
Federal District Court Defendant Motion to Supress Evidence, Proffer Statements
Federal District Court, Government, OBJECTION TO DEFENDANT RILEY'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
ENDORSED ORDER as to Daniel Riley 203 MOTION in Limine re: to Suppress Statements/Evidence From an Unlawful Search Warrant. Text of Order: Hearing to be held on February 4, 2008 at 11:00 AM. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
Federal District Court Defendant Motion to Supress Evidence Unlawful Search Warrant
ENDORSED ORDER denying 206 MOTION to Suppress All Evidence Obtained by Unlawful Search Warrants as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion for Judge Singal to Remove Himself from this Case
ENDORSED ORDER denying MOTION for Judge Singal to Remove Himself from This Case as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied as frivolous So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion in Limine for an Estopple to Supress Evidence
ENDORSED ORDER denying MOTION in Limine re: for an Estoppel to Suppress Evidence as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Demand for a Speedy Trial or Dismiss Indictment
ENDORSED ORDER denying Motion for Speedy Trial as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)12/26/2007
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion for a Ruling on the Conclusion of Law
ENDORSED ORDER denying MOTION for a Ruling on the Conclusion of Law on the Following Findings of Fact as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied as frivolous So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion to Admit Evidence
ENDORSED ORDER RE MOTION to Admit Evidence as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Court refuses to give an advisory opinion. Issue may be raised at trial. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Discovery Demands
ENDORSED ORDER granting Motion for Discovery as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Government shall comply with discovery as required pursuant to the Local Rules for the District of New Hampshire and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Standby counsel Sven Wiberg shall provide Defendant Riley with whatever discovery materials have been provided to him by the Government. So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion for Severence, Objection to Consolidation
Federal District Court, Government, OBJECTION TO DEFENDANT RILEYS MOTION TO SEVER
ORDER denying 78 Motion to Sever Defendant as to Daniel Riley (1). So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 01/09/2008)
Federal District Court, Defendant, Motion for Deposition
ENDORSED ORDER denying 85 MOTION for Deposition as to Daniel Riley (1). Text of Order: Denied So Ordered by Judge George Z. Singal. (jar) (Entered: 12/26/2007)12/26/2007