Caution: Following the Bunkerville standoff trial proceedings can cause whiplash.
Today the federal judge again delayed the start of the trial for Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and self-styled militia member Ryan Payne. This time for a week. She agreed to hold hearings after Cliven Bundy’s attorney asked the charges be dropped because the prosecution had failed to reveal any recordings or notes taken off live surveillance video of the Bundy ranch during the April 2014 standoff. Ryan Bundy raised the question as to whether there was surveillance video several weeks ago.
“If it has potentially useful information, then the defense is entitled to it,” the judge is quoted by Reuters as saying. “I‘m not convinced that it doesn’t exist.”
The federal agents reportedly shredded documents after the standoff ended.
And now, after more than a year and a half in jail, the judge said she would hold a hearing Thursday to determine the four men should be released from jail during the trial. “It’s possible a halfway-house setting could be devised,” the judge is quoted as saying by the AP. Now but not a year and a half ago?
The four face felony charges, including conspiracy, assault, and threats against federal officers, firearms counts, obstruction and extortion for which a conviction could carry a sentence of 170 years in prison.
Equal justice or crapshoot?