(UPI) — A federal judge in Nevada declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case against Cliven Bundy and his sons related to an armed standoff in 2014.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro cited the prosecution’s failure to turn over six documents or pieces of evidence as the reason for declaring the mistrial. She said prosecutors violated the Brady rule, which requires them to disclose any evidence that could be seen as favorable to the defense.
“The court does regrettably believe a mistrial in this case is the most suitable and only remedy,” she said. “It was not possible to go forward with the case.
Federal prosecutors accuse Cliven Bundy, his two sons, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy, as well as another co-defendent, Ryan Payne, of failing to remove cattle from public lands. The decades-long dispute ratcheted upward in 2014, when Cliven Bundy refused to pay a $1 million bill for at least 20 years of grazing fees. His livestock grazed on public land and he refused to pay for permits.
The dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management led to a standoff with federal authorities in April 2014 near Bunkerville, Nev. Dozens of men arrived at the Bundy ranch and established an armed, military-style encampment in protest; the government eventually retreated, citing the possibility of violence.
Payne and the two younger Bundys were free on bail, while Cliven Bundy remains jailed.
Navarro set Feb. 27 as the new trial date.
Ammon Bundy also was involved in a similar standoff the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, in which one of the participants was killed by police.
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