Judge Declares Mistrial in Bundy Standoff Case

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A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the Nevada standoff case involving rancher Cliven Bundy and other defendants, finding that the federal government improperly withheld evidence, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. “A mistrial in this case is the most suitable and only remedy available,” U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro said. Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and co-defendant Ryan Payne will face a new trial early next year on charges arising from the 2014 standoff with federal agents. Navarro said video surveillance, maps and FBI interview information were willfully withheld by the prosecution in violation of due process required by the constitution.

Considered collectively, she said, the evidence that was withheld was favorable to the defendants, and its untimely disclosure was prejudicial in that it “undermined the confidence of the outcome of the trial.” The U.S. Justice Department said that a discovery expert with the department will examine the case and advise the agency on its next steps. Navarro cited case law that says illegal suppression of evidence occurs when the government fails to turn over information that was available not only to the prosecution, but to federal investigative agencies. Included in the pieces of evidence that led to the mistrial were interview reports regarding video surveillance of the Bundys, including information about the camera’s location and proximity to the Bundys’ home, and an interview report indicating a federal officer wore tactical gear during the standoff.

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