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Reese family challenges appeals panel overturning of new trial order

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Attorneys for the Reese family filed a petition for rehearing en banc Tuesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver. This latest move by the defense challenges a March 19 decision by a three judge panel overturning a District Court decision that the family of former gun dealers merited a new trial based on the prosecution withholding evidence that a witness had been the subject of a criminal investigation.

The panel’s ruling last month was another in a series of setbacks for a family that 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.

Challenging that panel’s findings, the defense is arguing, among other things, that it lacked appropriate authority, that the decision “wrongfully refused to examine the District Court’s findings of fact for clear error," and that it “whitewashed the government’s deliberate wrongful violation[s].”

This column will report on the court’s ruling when it becomes known. In the mean time, supporters of the family are reminded that legal expenses are mounting and assets with which to defend themselves against a government that can bring virtually unlimited resources to bear have been seized. An account has been set up 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.

UPDATE: Tea Party Patriots of Luna County has more.

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