LAS VEGAS (CN) — Cliven Bundy has a new attorney for his trial on 16 federal charges stemming from his armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in April 2014.
Bret O. Whipple with the Justice Law Center in Las Vegas and Bundy filed paperwork Monday for Whipple to replace Joel Hansen, who needs neck and back surgery that will require 12 weeks of rehab.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen last week gave Bundy and Whipple until Wednesday to reach an agreement to make Whipple Bundy's legal counsel for the trial slated to start Feb. 6.
Whipple on Monday submitted a notice of appearance that says he "has been retained by defendant, Cliven D. Bundy, as his counsel of record for the purpose of full representation throughout the duration of trial."
Leen then vacated a hearing on the matter that was set for Wednesday.
Bundy, 70, and 16 co-defendants face up to 80 years in prison on up to 16 felony charges each. Bundy also faces a $3 million fine for unpaid federal grazing fees and penalties for interfering with the Bureau of Land Management.
Bundy and his supporters held off federal and local officials in April 2014, when they tried to round up cattle Bundy had grazed on federal land without a permit and without paying grazing fees for more than 20 years, and for 16 years after a federal judge told him to keep his cattle off the federal land near Bunkerville, Nev.
Two co-defendants pleaded guilty and await sentencing. The rest are scheduled for trial starting Feb. 6, 2017.
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