Las Vegas, Nevada — Dennis Michael Lynch, known better as ‘DML’, took the stand today as a witness in the first of three trials set to take place in relation to the standoff between the Bundy family, their supporters, and the federal government.
Lynch was kept on the witness stand all day on Wednesday. He answered numerous questions from the U.S. attorney after the jury was shown a long list of the video clips DML captured during the event that took place in Bunkerville, NV on April, 12, 2014.
DML, who at the time was a regular guest on The Kelly File (Fox News Channel), was filming the events in Nevada for an upcoming segment to air on Megyn Kelly’s show.
Lynch explained in his testimony that he was there on that day as a journalist, but he quickly changed hats to be a peacekeeper when he saw the event getting dangerous. He characterized the situation as “uneasy” when protesters and the BLM were separated by only 100 yards of desert known as the wash. “I feared that people could be shot,” explained Lynch.
When asked why he moved towards the BLM by himself — telling protesters to stay put until he returned — Lynch explained that he wanted to try to settle things down. “We couldn’t hear what the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) was saying,” DML told the court. “They were blasting a message through a megaphone, and it sounded like they were saying ‘if you move forward you will be shot’, so I wanted to speak to the BLM before it got to that,” responded DML.
“The wind was so bad, and the use of the megaphone only made things worse, we could only hear some of the words coming from the BLM. And because the people behind me were screaming it only made it more difficult,” DML testified. A video of Lynch telling the protesters to quiet down was shown.
When asked by the prosecutor if he obeyed the BLM’s demand that he “move back”, Lynch said he kept moving forward because he wanted them to know he didn’t have a gun. “I lifted my shirt and said, I don’t have a gun. I told them I am the press, I am from New York, I don’t have a gun,” explained Lynch. The video clips shown to the jury included one in which Lynch can be scene approaching the BLM as they pointed rifles in his direction.
In one of the video clips, Lynch screams at the BLM, “Why won’t you listen to me, we cannot hear you, these people do not want to get hurt. They do not want to be shot. Please, allow me to approach so this does not end in bloodshed.”
Prosecutors tried to establish there being no real threat to Lynch, or the protesters. “Listening to the video here again today, did you ever hear the BLM say they would shoot you?,” asked the U.S. attorney. Lynch replied, “In the video you played here today, it’s easier to hear what they are saying because it’s what was captured by my camera mic, but my two ears aren’t microphones and I could not hear what my camera was capturing. I could not clearly hear what they were saying because it was so windy, but it sounded like they were saying we could be shot. But even what is heard here today, the audio contains so much wind that I cannot tell what every word being said is.” Then Lynch explained to the jury that he did not have a wind protection mic on his camera that day. “Shoddy camera work on my end,” he said.
During cross examination, Lynch was asked by a defense lawyer if he felt fear as he approached the BLM alone. Lynch responded, “Define fear?” He was asked, did you fear you could be shot. “Absolutely”, said DML.
The day ended with DML and the U.S. attorney getting in to a heated exchange when DML was asked to state whether he feared being shot after he had retreated from the fence where the BLM stood with guns. Lynch said he did until he got to higher ground under the bridge. Then a shoving match of words between the defense attorneys, the prosecution, and Lynch began as DML tried to get out a longer explanation as to what he meant by “having fear.” Ultimately, DML was not given the chance to explain to the court. He concluded, “I feared I would be shot, that’s it.”
Another point of interest was during cross examination when Lynch was asked about there being “any leadership” on the side of the BLM. Lynch responded, “There was no leadership.”
Lynch was then asked about preliminary interviews between himself, the U.S. attorney and the FBI. One of the defense lawyers asked DML if he had seen a copy of the notes made by the FBI after the interview. Lynch replied, “Yes, they showed them to me last night.” The defense lawyer asked, “Did those notes accurately depict your interview?” Lynch responded, “No, they did not, and I made notations throughout the document stating where the report was inaccurate.”
Lynch was asked how much of his video was shown to the jury by the prosecution. Lynch said, “Only 50%, maybe less.” Lynch said he handed over all his video footage to the FBI after receiving a subpoena.
Here is a seen from DML’s movie, “A Day At Bundy’s” which shows him approaching the BLM alone.
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