LAS VEGAS — An October date was set on Thursday for the trial of Nevada cattleman and state’s rights figure Cliven Bundy and six other defendants in an armed standoff that stopped government agents from rounding up Bundy cattle near Bunkerville in 2014.
Jury selection will start Oct. 10 in Las Vegas for Bundy, two of his sons and four other men, Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro decided. The trial will include two defendants who were released to home detention after their recent retrial ended with no verdicts on assault on a federal officer and related firearm charges, but acquittal on other charges.
One Bundy son, Ammon Bundy, refused to be brought to court for the hearing from federal custody. His lawyer, Daniel Hill, said his client objects to being strip-searched when he is transported.
Another Bundy son, Ryan Bundy, serving as his own lawyer, told the judge that he deserved to be released after spending more than 18 months in federal custody, and that his right to a speedy trial has been “violated terribly.”
The judge said she would hold hearings in coming weeks to consider those issues.
Trial for Cliven Bundy, his two eldest sons and defendants Ryan Payne of Anaconda, Montana, and Peter Santilli of Cincinnati represents the main event in the case arising from the April 2014 standoff about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
The five are accused of leading a conspiracy to enlist self-styled militia members to prevent federal agents from enforcing court orders to remove Bundy cattle from what is now Gold Butte National Monument.
Bundy says he doesn’t recognize federal authority over public land where he says his family grazed cattle since the early 1900s.
The federal Bureau of Land Management says Bundy racked up more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees and penalties over two decades before the cattle roundup began.
The Bundys, Santilli and Payne each face 15 charges including conspiracy, assault and threats against federal officers, firearms counts, obstruction and extortion. Convictions on all charges carry the possibility of many more than 100 years in federal prison.