Feds Ask Judge For A New Trial Against The Bundys

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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Federal prosecutors are asking Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro for another chance at convicting Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy for crimes associated with an armed standoff with federal agents in 2014, E&E News reports.

Navarro ruled a mistrial against Bundy and three others, including his two sons, in December after prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory evidence that favored the defendants’ case. Navarro is considering whether the case should be dismissed “with prejudice,” blocking a retrial.

The omissions do not amount to “flagrant misconduct,” prosecutors claim and are asking for another attempt at trying Bundy, according to E&E News.

“The Brady violations found by the court are regrettable and benefit no one,” Nevada’s Acting U.S. Attorney and lead prosecutor in the Bundy case Steven Myhre wrote in a legal brief obtained by The Oregonian. “But because the government neither flagrantly violated nor recklessly disregarded its obligations, the appropriate remedy for such violations is a new trial.”

Prosecutors cited “harassment and threats” against people involved, a large amount of unnecessary documents that must be cut and the U.S. attorney’s “low-tech” database as justifications for six violations of the Brady rule, which requires prosecutors to turn over evidence favorable to the defendants.

Prosecutors gave defense attorneys around 3,000 pages worth of possibly exculpatory evidence after Bundy’s trial began. The evidence included federal behavioral assessments done before 2014 that concluded the Bundy family was likely not dangerous.

Also, 500 pages worth of Inspector General reports on Dan Love, who directed the raid on the Bundy ranch to seize the family’s cattle over decades of unpaid grazing fees, were handed over. Prosecutors had dismissed allegations of misbehavior by Love as an “urban legend,” but he was fired from his Bureau of Land Management position in September over corruption charges unrelated to the 2014 raid.

The Department of Justice is currently investigating the Bundy case prosecutors for misconduct related to the Brady violations.

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