Bunkerville trial takes another twisted turn

First, the judge in the federal trial of four defendants in the Bunkerville standoff case delayed the trial for a week because the defense accused the prosecution of not providing potential evidence. Now, three weeks into that trial, the judge has halted the trial over similar allegations.

According the website of the morning newspaper, the judge today hinted at the possibility of a mistrial, saying the failure to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence might be “sufficient to undermine the confidence in the outcome of the trial.”

The judge, after dismissing jurors until Wednesday, read a long list of documents, witness names and other information that she said government prosecutors did not provide to defendants in a timely fashion. The story at this time provides no details.

Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and self-styled militia member Ryan Payne face felony charges, including conspiracy, assault and threats against federal officers, firearms counts, obstruction and extortion for which a conviction could carry a sentence of 170 year in prison.

After holding the four in jail since February of 2016, shortly after the start of the trial the judge agreed to release all four on what amounts to house arrest. Three accepted but Cliven Bundy refused her terms and remains jailed.

Will this case take another strange twist?

So far, in the case — which grows out of the armed protest against the BLM’s attempted confiscation of Bundy’s cattle for refusing to pay grazing fees — two have been acquitted by a jury, two have pleaded to a misdemeanor and released on time served, one pleaded to conspiracy charge and faces up to six years in prison, another was convicted and sentenced to seven years another was convicted and sentenced to 68 years in prison and still another was convicted and is awaiting sentencing but faces up to 30 years.
The trial of six more defendants, including two more Bundy sons, Dave and Mel Bundy, is scheduled for 30 days after the current trial ends … if it ever does.
Dave and Mel Bundy and two other defendants were finally released this past week.

Protesters outside courthouse. (R-J pix)

One comment on “Bunkerville trial takes another twisted turn

  1. Doug Knowles says:

    the Judge also hinted that a mistrial could also result in double jeopardy ruling in the favor of the defense.

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