Posts Tagged ‘judge Anna Brown’

Burns Chronicles No 62 – Jon Ritzheimer, Facebook, and Justice

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Burns Chronicles No 62

Jon Ritzheimer, Facebook, and Justice

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 1, 2018

Jon Ritzheimer was scheduled to report to prison on February 16, 2018 to serve his year and a day, less time served and good time off.  That would probably amount to about 8 months.  He had time to prepare things for his family, to make their life easier while he was in prison.  He also had work to do to make sure that he got on the ballot in his run to replace the retiring representative, Trent Franks.  Jon’s goal was to be fully prepared to go to prison in February

However, a single event and a Facebook post have undermined his planned preparations.  Though he had been abiding by all of the rules imposed on him, a simple trip within the same county of where he was approved to go has undermined all of his efforts and goodness.

Once again, Facebook was the downfall of a good man.  There is no doubt that his Facebook page is monitored, and once the monitors saw the picture (above), they probably gleefully contacted Judge Anna Brown and reported that Jon was, finally, in violation of his release conditions.

Judge Brown then sent the following chastisement and order to the respective attorneys.  I have not spoken to Payne about this, though you will see that he has lost a major part of his freedom, as well.  Considering the restrictions imposed on their freedoms, it would seem that they should get credit for time served, or at worst, half credit for time served, as a consequence of this absolute denial of freedom of movement and communication, and consequences for violation thereof.

I have received and reviewed the messages from Ms. Hay and Ms. Wood.  Thank you for your prompt responses.

Although I do not intend to issue warrants based on the information discussed in our correspondence today, I am concerned that Defendants have taken advantage of this Court’s release accommodations in their favor.  So that this Court’s release conditions are perfectly clear going forward, I intend to take the action outlined below.  If any of you wish to be heard as to these decisions, please notify Mr. Rifer, and a hearing will be scheduled early next week.  In the meantime, please notify your clients that, in addition to all existing conditions, they are now subject to the following:

With respect to Mr. Payne, I agreed that he could be released from custody on the Oregon hold only in order to be able to confer meaningfully with his co-defendants and their counsel in the ongoing preparation of their mutual defense in Nevada.  I certainly did not intend to authorize his travel more than 80 miles from the Las Vegas Courthouse to the Bundy Ranch for social purposes.  Please inform Mr. Payne that, effective immediately and for purposes of his temporary release from custody on the Oregon case, the following specific conditions apply:

1. When his approved travel to Montana concludes, he is to return directly to the approved residence in Las Vegas where he will be on   “home detention” — meaning, he is to remain at that residence unless he   is going directly to or from court (including any pretrial office); the   offices of any defense counsel; or church, medical, or treatment   services.  He is not to return to the Bundy Ranch or to engage in social   activities with his co-defendants.

2. If it is determined by Chief Judge Navarro that the Nevada case against Mr. Payne will be dismissed with prejudice, Mr. Payne is to   surrender immediately to the U.S. Marshal in Nevada so that a hearing   can be conducted within 48 hours of that decision to determine whether   he will be detained or released pending his sentencing in Oregon.

3. If it is determined by Chief Judge Navarro that the Nevada proceedings against Mr. Payne will continue, he may remain on release   from the Oregon hold subject to all previous conditions and the “home   detention” described in Paragraph 1, above.

With respect to Mr. Ritzheimer, I have seen some of his email and text correspondence to his Arizona release officer regarding the request to travel to an “Airbnb” in Las Vegas for his wedding anniversary.  In a text, Mr. Ritzheimer wrote:  “I will not be going to the Trial or Federal Courthouse to see the Bundy’s [sic] if that’s what you’re thinking.  Just wanna to [sic] make that clear.  This is a trip for me and my wife’s anniversary.”  It’s clear to me Mr. Ritzheimer was not authorized to travel to the Bundy Ranch.  Nor was he authorized to make Facebook posts about the Bundy Ranch visit.  Rather than deal with his equivocating explanation in the context of a warrant and hearing to determine whether he violated release conditions, however, I’ve concluded the more reasonable course is to advance his surrender date for his prison sentence to next Friday, 1/5/18.  To implement that decision, I’ll enter an order early next week modifying the surrender date and directing him to surrender to the U.S. Marshal in Phoenix by Noon on 1/5/18.  Even if a BOP facility has not been designated by then, he will get credit for voluntarily surrendering to the U.S. Marshal as ordered.

Ms. Hay and Ms. Wood, please do the necessary to ensure your clients are aware of the particulars of this message.  Appropriate orders will enter early next week.  In the meantime, it will be a violation of the Oregon release conditions for your clients if they again travel to the Bundy Ranch.

This led to the consequences addressed above, and, ultimately, to Jon having to make major changes to his well-laid plans to be prepared to turn himself in on February 16, 2018.

In Jon’s own words:          (more…)