Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Judge to curtail defense witnesses in Bundy standoff case

A jury might hear from just one or two defense witnesses and only one of the six men accused of wielding guns against federal agents during a 2014 standoff involving Nevada cattleman and states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy, following a judge's decision Monday limiting the scope of remaining testimony. After nearly two months of testimony by more than three dozen prosecution witnesses, defense attorneys were knocked off a plan to call most of about 10 witnesses. Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled that any testimony should focus on the standoff itself, not incidents preceding it. The ruling appeared to put the case on track for closing arguments as early as this week. Defense lawyers originally wanted to call more than 30 witnesses, including Daniel Love, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management supervisor from Salt Lake City who headed the ill-fated roundup of Bundy cattle from public land in southern Nevada. Leventhal said he and the others are now precluded from calling Love to the stand. Love was recommended for possible disciplinary action this year by the bureau's Office of Inspector General for accepting tickets to a sold-out Burning Man festival in northern Nevada in 2015, for having agents provide transportation for his family at the event, and for allegedly manipulating a hiring process so a friend could get a job. Investigators also reported that Love asked employees to "scrub" emails and delete documents before responding to a congressional records request...more

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