Bundy trial delayed; judge may release defendants to halfway house

In this April 10, 2017, file photo, a protester holds up a flag outside of a federal courthouse in Las Vegas in support of defendants accused of wielding weapons against federal agents during a 2014 standoff involving cattleman and states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy. | Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The start of trial for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, two sons and another defendant will be delayed at least a week over questions about whether prosecutors have provided complete records to defense teams.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Tuesday set hearings for Nov. 8 and 13 on the questions that she said need to be resolved before trial begins.

Navarro re-scheduled the trial to begin Nov. 14.

Prosecutors allege the 71-year-old Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and co-defendant Ryan Payne conspired to enlist a self-styled militia to defy government authority at the point of a gun.

Prosecutors say Bundy tried to instigate a “range war” to stop the enforcement of lawful court orders to round up his cows after decades of failing to pay grazing fees and penalties.

Defense attorneys say the four men didn’t conspire with anyone, didn’t wield weapons and didn’t threaten anybody.

Navarro also said she’ll consider releasing the defendants to a halfway house or house arrest during their trial. She scheduled detention hearings for Nov. 9.

The four have been in federal custody since their arrests in early 2016 in Oregon, where the Bundy brothers and Payne led a 41-day occupation of a federal wildlife refuge.

Ryan Bundy is representing himself at trial. He complains that it’s difficult to prepare his case while he’s held at a local jail.

The trial is expected to take four months.

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