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Nevada judge considers house arrest for Bundy defendants

LAS VEGAS (AP) -  A federal judge in Nevada says she'll consider releasing rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and another defendant to a halfway house or house arrest during their trial stemming from an armed standoff in 2014 with government agents in a cattle-grazing dispute.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro said Tuesday she'll hold detention hearings Thursday for the 71-year-old Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and co-defendant Ryan Payne.

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 the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Their trial in Las Vegas is expected to take four months, but Navarro postponed the start at least a week to hold hearings about whether prosecutors have withheld evidence from defense teams.

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.

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

Prosecutors allege the Bundys and 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.


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