Adding to an ordeal that’s dragged on for two years, the embattled Reese family is now facing the withdrawal of their attorneys due to compensation issues, a source close to the case told Gun Rights Examiner yesterday. Such a move, which may have already happened by this writing, will leave the defendants with no choice but to file affidavits claiming indigence so that they can obtain a public defender or a court-appointed lawyer.
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. Son Remington was cleared of all charges, and a new trial for the outstanding convictions has been ordered following Judge Brack’s ruling that the prosecutor withheld evidence from the jury.
This latest development could effectively cancel out an earlier “win” for the family, when the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit “denied without prejudice” a motion by the prosecution in the Reese case to deny to the three defendants their choice to be represented by the same counsel.
It also highlights how devastating a District Court ruling was, when Judge Robert C. Brack denied dismissal of remaining counts and, significantly, the Reese’s motions for partial release of assets, a request that the Court release cash, gold, and silver to allow the family to pay their legal expenses.
“Defendants’ relatives have significant assets and have assisted them financially during the course of these proceedings [and] Defendants’ local and national supporters have established legal defense funds to pay Defendants’ legal expenses,” Brack opined, making no mention that relatives and supporters are under no legal burden to continue with financial assistance.
As for that “national support,” based on results, it is not nearly enough, something the judge evidently did not bother to actually look into before issuing such a presumptuous ruling. If it were, attorneys would not be considering withdrawing from the case. Meanwhile, a prosecution with virtually unlimited resources can press on in its own good time, untroubled by petty concerns like having no money to even eat, let alone keep a roof over their heads, let alone financing an extended legal campaign.
Changing that dynamic does not appear likely, due in no small part to a virtual media blackout on the story, with the exception of limited reach niche readership efforts like this column and Tea Party Patriots of Luna County (which has done exceptional work fleshing out the details and back story of the case). Add to that a predisposition of gun owners, at least those who have even heard about this case, to talk about it but not really do much else, especially when it comes to informing their friends and adding a few dollars to the defense fund now and then.
Nonetheless, 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.
What the Obama administration can’t get through legislation they’re determined to get just by issuing orders. The latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it before the magazine hits the stands. Click here to read "Executive Actions.”
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