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.