Cliven Bundy’s Attorney Asks to Withdraw

     LAS VEGAS (CN) — Health problems and “constant pain” have caused jailed Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s attorney to file a motion to withdraw from the case, leaving Bundy looking for new representation.
     Las Vegas attorney Joel F. Hansen said in a Sept. 23 motion to withdraw: “I have health problems which will make it very difficult for me to withstand the rigors of a long jury trial of this case.”
     Hansen has herniated discs that cause “constant low back and leg pain and paresthesia” and make it difficult to sit in a chair for prolonged periods.
     “Although I am presently able to practice law, I am in constant pain,” Hansen said in the motion in Federal Court. “Due to my health issues, I do not believe that Cliven Bundy could receive a vigorous and effective defense if I were forced to stay.”
     He added: “I know the kind of extended hours required to try a case in the daytime and prepare in the evenings, and I know the kinds of mental, physical and emotional stress a criminal defense attorney must endure during a prolonged criminal jury trial.”
     Hansen said his doctor advised spinal surgery on his back and neck, and said recovery would take at least 12 weeks. Bundy’s trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 6.
     Hansen said he would provide more details of his motion to withdraw as Bundy’s counsel during a closed hearing Thursday. He has contacted a local criminal defense attorney who is willing to take over the case, so long as money is available to pay his fees.
     A hearing before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
     At 11 a.m., co-defendant Peter T. Santilli was scheduled to argue his motion for contact visitation from paralegal Robert Gullo to help review discovery materials.
     Santilli is represented by Las Vegas attorney Chris T. Rasmussen.
     At 11:30 a.m., co-defendant O. Scott Drexler, representing himself, is scheduled for an attorney appointment hearing.
     Bundy, Santilli and Drexler are among 19 defendants who were charged with up to 16 felonies each.
     Two defendants, Blaine Cooper, 36, of Humboldt, Ariz., and Gerald A. DeLemus, 61, of Rochester, N.H., pleaded guilty to felony charges in August and face up to 6 years in prison.

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