two Bundys, three others balk at pleas in NV standoff case

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 3:36 PM

Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. entered not guilty pleas on behalf of each man during a sometimes contentious arraignment that featured cat-calls and cheers from about thirty Bundy backers and defendants' family members, below watchful eyes of about a dozen U.

two Bundys, three others balk at pleas in NV standoff case

Two sons of NV rancher Cliven Bundy and three other men refused to enter pleas in federal Ct in Las Vegas to charges in an armed confrontation with government agents two years ago.

Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. entered not guilty pleas on behalf of each man during a sometimes contentious arraignment that featured cat-calls and cheers from about thirty Bundy backers and defendants' family members, below watchful eyes of about a dozen U. S. marshals.

"We don't necessity any outbursts," Foley warned from the U. S. District Ct bench Friday. Twice he told the restive audience, "This isn't a show."

Before balking at entering his plea, Ammon Bundy alleged he'd been mistreated in custody to NV from Oregon, where he and the others have been held since their arrests in the occupation of a U. S. wildlife refuge this year.

He said he'd been handcuffed for twenty-three hours during the move, including eleven hours to a bench, and that jailers once passed him by when other inmates were fed. He said he got a snack after he complained.

"I don't look how we're being treated as innocent in any way," he said.

His brother and co-defendant, Ryan Bundy, professed to realize his rights but not the charges against him. He also said he wants to serve as his own lawyer.

The judge well-known that a Ct receptionist and prosecutor Steven Myhre had just spent ninety-four minutes reading the 63-page, 16-count indictment aloud. The word-for-word recital came after the defendants exercised their right to hear the charges against them.

A grand jury accused nineteen people — including Friday'south defendants, family patriarch Cliven Bundy and thirteen others who were arraigned previously — of conspiracy, obstruction, weapon, threats and assault charges in the April two thousand fourteen standoff with federal agents close Bunkerville, about eighty miles northeast of Las Vegas. All nineteen are presently in federal custody in and around Las Vegas.

Seven men, including the five in Ct Friday, are also facing conspiracy, weapon, theft and damaging government property charges in Portland, Oregon, stemming from the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

U. S. District Judge Anna Brown in Portland has scheduled jury choice to start Sept. seven in the OR case, despite defense attorneys' objections that they won't have sufficient time to prepare and that it'd be improper to create their clients defend two cases at once in different states.

Co-defendants Blaine Cooper and Ryan Payne stood Friday following to their court-appointed attorneys in Las Vegas and said their rights were being violated.

Payne told the judge it was "preposterous, sir," to have to defend himself against federal charges in two jurisdictions at the same time.

"I don't realize the pretense of this level of government to bring forth such charges," he added.

Brian Cavalier finished his arraignment — "I won't be entering a plea today," he said — by offering federal prosecutors a pocket duplicate of the U. S. Constitution.

The cordon of marshals tensed when Cooper picked up the pamphlet and tossed it onto the table of the U. S. attorneys handling the case.

Another federal magistrate judge has scheduled an April twenty-two hearing to define if the NV case will be designated "complex," and if a May two trial date is feasible.

Ammon Bundy'south attorney in the OR case, Michael Arnold, was removed from the Las Vegas courtroom gallery by marshals after beginning to text on his cellphone while the indictment was being read.

Arnold protested as he left that he hadn't heard a pre-hearing warning that cellphone utilize was prohibited, because he was meeting with his client at the time.

The lawyer later said he was using the device to meet a deadline set by the judge in the Oregon case.

"Literally I'd to be in two places at once," Arnold told The Associated Press. "It illustrates the impossibility of doing two cases at one time justly and fairly."

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