Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Judge opens door for Ammon Bundy, others to be prosecuted in Nevada and Oregon at same time

A federal judge in Portland ruled Tuesday that Ammon Bundy and four other men indicted in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon can be flown to Las Vegas to face criminal charges in the 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch in Nevada. Attorneys for the five defendants told U.S. District Judge Anna Brown that they don't think federal prosecutors in Oregon and Nevada should pursue criminal cases against them at the same time. Splitting time between courtrooms and jail cells in Oregon and Nevada would severely compromise their ability to meaningfully communicate with their defense attorneys and would interfere with their rights to speedy trials, they argued.Brown, the judge, said she would allow the two Bundys, Payne, Cavalier and Cooper to be transported from Oregon to Nevada on April 13 so they could be present for arraignment in the ranch standoff case. Brown said the group must be back in Oregon within 10 days – by April 23. She said she didn't think a single 10-day absence from Oregon would violate the defendants' rights in the wildlife refuge case to speedy trial or effective communications with counsel. A federal judge in Nevada, Brown said, will have to decide whether being tried in Oregon ends up violating the defendants' rights in the Nevada case. After the judge made her ruling, defense attorneys expressed disappointment. Attorney Lissa Casey said she will appeal the decision on behalf of her client, Ammon Bundy. "Moving Ammon to Nevada makes it more difficult for him to participate in his own defense, and it makes it more (challenging) for us to mount a zealous advocacy," Casey said in an emailed statement Tuesday. "...(W)e hope to keep Ammon in Oregon until this case is resolved."...more

No comments: