The Latest: Rancher Cliven Bundy walks out a free man
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the federal criminal case against a Nevada rancher accused of leading 2014 armed standoff against U.S. land management agents (all times local):
The Nevada rancher who was accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities has walked out of a federal courthouse in Las Vegas as a free man.
Supporters cheered Monday as Cliven Bundy hugged his wife. He says that he had been jailed for 700 days as a “political prisoner” for refusing to acknowledge federal authority over the land around his cattle ranch.
A judge who found what she called “flagrant misconduct” by prosecutors dismissed criminal charges against the 71-year-old states’ rights figure, two of his sons and a Montana militia leader.
The collapse of the case is a stunning failure for the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada.
Newly appointed Interim U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson (el-AYE’-eh-sun) didn’t immediately respond on whether the government will take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Criminal charges have been dismissed against a Nevada rancher and his sons accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled Monday in Las Vegas that federal prosecutors acted with willful disregard for constitutional due process rights of 71-year-old Cliven Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and Montana militia leader Ryan Payne.
The judge last month declared a mistrial after a month of proceedings for the same reasons.
Navarro severely criticized prosecutors for failing to properly turn over evidence to their lawyers.
The collapse of the case is a stunning failure for the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada, where 19 co-defendants were indicted in early 2016 on charges including conspiracy, obstruction and threats and assault of federal agents in the April 2014 standoff outside Bunkerville.
A decision is due in Las Vegas whether to end the criminal prosecution of a Nevada rancher and followers accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro’s ruling on Monday comes after she declared a mistrial last month in proceedings against 71-year-old Cliven Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and Montana militia leader Ryan Payne.
The judge signaled at that time that she might dismiss the case outright.
Navarro severely criticized prosecutors for what she called “willful” violations of due process rights of defendants, including failing to properly turn over evidence to their lawyers.
Her decision is sure to reverberate among states’ rights advocates in the Western U.S., where the federal government controls vast lands that some people want to protect and others want used for grazing, mining and oil and gas drilling.