Almost three years after the infamous standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, trials are now beginning for 19 defendants.
Thursday marks the opening trial in Las Vegas for the first group of six defendants in the case.
The standoff occurred on April 12, 2014, when the feds rounded up cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy and his family in a dispute over grazing fees on federal land.
The Bundy family had an arrangement to use the land for their cattle for years, but problems had escalated when the Bureau of Land Management started applying grazing restrictions. It claimed Bundy owed over $1 million in penalties and grazing fines and came to the location to confiscate the cattle.
Hundreds of Americans from across the nation traveled to the ranch to help defend Bundy and prevent the BLM from taking his cattle.
No shots were fired on the day of the standoff, but heavily armed federal agents and armed protesters faced each other, with many unarmed protesters standing in the middle demanding that the BLM free Bundy’s cattle.
The feds finally relented, but there were some “skirmishes” involving federal officials and some Bundy family members. Cliven Bundy’s 57-year-old sister, Margaret Huston, was “body slammed,” and his son, Ammon Bundy was tased. Another son, Dave Bundy, was arrested.
In all, 19 defendants who were jailed over a year ago are now facing trial. The trial for the first group of six starts Thursday, which includes Gregory Burleson of Phoenix; Richard Lovelien of Westville, Oklahoma; and Todd Engel of Idaho.
It is reported that this first trial could take up to 10 weeks. The trial for Cliven Bundy, his sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and two other leaders of the standoff is expected to take place in May.
Another six co-defendants are expected to be tried in August.
H/T: Chicago Tribune
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