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.