The Reese family will not get the new trial a District Court judge ordered over a year ago, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. That ruling had been issued because the prosecution withheld evidence from the defense and from jurors that a witness against the embattled former gun dealers, Deputy Allen Batts of the Luna County Sheriff’s Department, was himself the subject of an FBI investigation, a fact that wasn’t brought to light until four months after the 2012 trial had ended.
“The district court concluded that the government had indeed withheld favorable, material evidence from Defendants and accordingly granted their motion,” the court acknowledged before issuing its reversal. “There is not a reasonable probability that the trial’s outcome would have been different had the government disclosed the investigation. We therefore reverse the district court’s order and remand this case for further proceedings.”
This latest ruling is another in a series of heavy blows against a family which has endured an ordeal approaching three years. Arrested in 2011 for allegedly knowingly selling guns to cartel members while operating a New Mexico gun store, all Reese family members were found not guilty on the most serious charges of conspiracy. Additionally and significantly, money laundering charges against them were dismissed. Husband Rick, wife Terri and son Ryin were convicted on a handful of lesser charges of making false statements on forms, basically under the presumption that they should have known federal agents were lying, and son Remington was cleared of all charges.
Compounding family difficulties is the seizure of their assets, and a further District Court ruling denying access to those assets to pay for their legal defense. Add to that Operation Fast and Furious-related timeline disconnects sworn to under oath by an ATF agent, “inconsistent” testimony from a career criminal and habitual liar who “somehow” managed to evade government charges against him for possessing a machine gun, and smuggling guns, drugs and aliens, government evidence suppression and misconduct, an ambitious U.S. Attorney with his eye on the federal bench, and a host of other outrages almost too numerous to mention, and the word “persecution” appears to be the most succinct description to describe what the government is doing.
As always, Tea Party Patriots of Luna County has taken point on providing detailed legal commentary on latest developments, including yesterday’s ruling.
Backers of the family will continue to seek justice on their behalf, and will continue to appeal to those who would want people to care if they ever found themselves on the wrong side of a prosecutor desperate to salvage something from a bungled case. As such, an account has been set up where supporters can contribute to help the Reese family in its ongoing ordeal, and donations can be sent to the Reese Defense Fund, Attention Patricia Arias, First Savings Bank, 520 South Gold, Deming, NM 88030. Additionally, Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition advises they have set up an online donation page at their website.
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