BUNDY TRIAL: Prosecutor says standoff was not a peaceful protest

Cliven Bundy, Photo Date: April 2014 Cropped Photo: Shannon Bushman
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — 11:20 a.m.

A prosecutor told a jury that a 2014 armed confrontation involving Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and followers against federal agents was no peaceful protest.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre said Tuesday the criminal case against Bundy, two sons and a co-defendant is about violence and the use of guns.

Defense attorneys will also make opening statements as trial begins in federal court in Las Vegas. Trial is expected to take four months.

Defense attorneys say the four men didn't conspire with anyone and didn't wield weapons. They say no shots were fired in the standoff near Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Bundy maintains the federal government has no authority over land in the states.

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10:20 a.m.

Opening statements have begun in the federal trial of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and a co-defendant in a 2014 armed standoff against government agents.

Prosecutors allege the 71-year-old Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Payne led a self-styled militia to stop federal agents at gunpoint from enforcing court orders to remove Bundy's cattle from public rangeland.

Defense attorneys say the four men didn't conspire with anyone and didn't wield weapons. They say no shots were fired in the standoff near Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Bundy refuses to pay grazing fees to a federal government that he maintains has no authority over land in the states.

Federal prosecutors have twice failed to win full convictions at trial of men who had guns during the tense confrontation.

The current trial is expected to take four months.

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12:01 a.m.

A trial is set to start for Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and a co-defendant over a 2014 armed standoff against government agents.

Opening arguments are due Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The 71-year-old Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Payne are accused of leading a self-styled militia to stop federal agents at gunpoint from enforcing court orders to remove Bundy's cattle from public rangeland.

Bundy refuses to pay grazing fees to a federal government that he maintains has no authority over land in the states.

The four defendants sought to be released to a halfway house during trial.

The judge on Monday granted the request only to Ryan Bundy. He's serving as his own attorney and argued he was hampered in preparing his case in jail.