Opening statements started Tuesday in the trial of Southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and an independent militia organizer who prosecutors say lured crowds to an armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents.
“They threatened, they intimidated and they interfered,” Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre told jurors during a roughly two-hour outline of the case. “They threatened them to the point that they thought they would lose their lives and those with them would lose their lives.”
Defense attorneys, along with Ryan Bundy, who represents himself, are expected to give statements later Tuesday afternoon.
Cliven Bundy and another son, Ammon Bundy, who are being held without bail, arrived in court wearing red jail jumpsuits. Ryan Payne, the militia man, also is being held in federal custody, and wore a blue shirt with a gray American flag tie. Ryan Bundy, who was released Monday to a halfway house for the trial, wore a black suit and white shirt.
Before the statements began, Micah McGuire, a member of Cliven Bundy’s security detail during the April 2014 standoff in Bunkerville, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.
Each of the defendants on trial faces the potential of decades behind bars if convicted of conspiracy and other charges.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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