News

Bundy ranch split verdict: 2 convicted, mistrial declared for 4

Judge sets new trial for 4 after jury deadlocks

(update: mistrial declared in 4 cases, new trial set)

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A jury in Las Vegas found two men guilty of federal charges Monday but deadlocked on the charges against four others in an armed standoff that stopped government agents from rounding up cattle near Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch in 2014.

The judge declared a mistrial after jurors couldn't reach verdicts on charges against Richard Lovelien, Scott Drexler, Eric Parker and Steven Stewart. 

The judge scheduled a new trial for the four men for June 26. That's the same day Bundy; his eldest sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and two other defendants are scheduled for trial.

The split decision Monday came in the first trial in the standoff hailed as a victory by those who oppose federal control of vast stretches of land in the U.S. West. It had been seen as a preview for the case against the Bundys.

Jurors said in a note they were deadlocked on charges against four other men. The judge sent them back to keep deliberating, but soon came word they remained deadlock, and a mistrial was declared in those cases.

The verdicts against Gregory Burleson of Arizona and Todd Engel of Idaho were the first in the standoff hailed as a victory by those who oppose federal control of vast stretches of land in the U.S. West.

Burleson was found guilty of eight charges, including threatening and assaulting a federal officer. Engel was found guilty of obstruction and extortion.

They argued they were exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and weapon possession.

Prosecutors said it's illegal to brandish assault-style weapons against armed federal agents.

Each defendant faced 10 charges, including threatening and assaulting a federal officer, obstruction, extortion, weapon violations and conspiracy.

The trial was seen as a preview for an upcoming trial for Bundy; his eldest sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy; and two other defendants who prosecutors have characterized as leaders of the conspiracy.

The eight women and four men had spent three full days and two half days going over the evidence from the two-month trial.

No shots were fired and the cattle were released after the standoff near Bunkerville.


By clicking Submit users are agreeing to follow the Terms of Service
comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular Stories