Freeing Cliven Bundy|Too Risky, Judge Rules

     LAS VEGAS (CN) — A federal judge on Wednesday refused to release Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy from jail ahead of trial over an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management near his ranch in April 2014.
     U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro denied Bundy’s challenge of a prior court order keeping him jailed until he and 18 others stand trial on Feb. 6, 2017, on 16 federal charges including conspiracy, assault, obstruction and extortion.
     Bundy was the “leader, organizer and primary beneficiary” of the events surrounding the 2014 standoff, Navarro said.
     She said there are no conditions under which she could release Bundy from custody and remain confident he would make court appearances or turn himself over to federal authorities. She also noted that the potential for violence from Bundy’s armed supporters makes him a danger to his community.
     Navarro said Bundy has selectively ignored federal laws and court orders for more than 20 years, faces more than 80 years in prison, has many people willing to act as armed bodyguards, and is a flight risk.
     The judge also denied a motion calling for her to recuse herself due to a conflict of interest arising from a recent lawsuit Bundy filed against U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and Reid’s brother Rory, Pres. Barack Obama, Navarro and others.
     Navarro gave Bundy 30 days to appeal her rulings.
     Bundy is represented by Las Vegas attorney Joel Hansen, while U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre leads the prosecution. Neither spoke during the hearing.
     Possibly to prevent potential courtroom outbursts, the court had Bundy seated nearest the press gallery, rather than near section of the courtroom where U.S. Marshals placed Bundy’s family and supporters.
     As the hearing concluded, Bundy glanced several times at the press gallery — searching for his family members and supporters — as marshals walked him out with the tops of his brown cowboy boots turned down to make room for leg shackles.
     Bundy was arrested on the 2014 standoff charges at the tail-end of his sons’ takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year.
     One of Bundy’s supporters, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, died when federal agents shot him during a traffic stop in Oregon on Jan. 26 and arrested Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy, ending the occupation of the refuge.
     In addition to more than 80 years in jail, federal prosecutors seek forfeiture of more than $3 million in property, plus the cattle the BLM tried to round up two years ago.

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