No Speedy Trial for Bundy Bodyguard

      LAS VEGAS (CN) — Bundy family bodyguard Brian D. Cavalier is not entitled to a speedy trial due to the complexity of the case against him, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled Monday.
     Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nev., had objected to U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen’s order vacating an April 25 calendar call and May 2 trial date, saying it violates his right to a speedy trial.
     Leen filed the case management order on April 26, a day after Cavalier filed his objection. Because his objection includes arguments against designating the case as complex, Navarro applied his objection to the April 26 case management order to address his arguments.
     Federal law defines complexity as a case that is “so unusual and complex” due to the number of defendants, the nature of the case, or “novel questions of fact or law,” that make it unreasonable to expect proper preparation within normal time limits, Navarro wrote.
     Navarro said the Ninth Circuit recognized a case as being complex when it had nine defendants facing a 29-count indictment, “voluminous discovery,” and many witnesses.
     Leen found Cavalier’s case complex because he is one of 19 defendants in a joined action with a 16-count indictment, voluminous discovery, and with seven defendants, including Cavalier, facing federal prosecution in Oregon, Navarro wrote.
     Navarro said a district judge may set aside a magistrate judge’s order only when it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law” and the court has a “‘definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.'”
     Cavalier’s objection provided “no legal or factual basis for why this case should not be designated as complex,” and “Leen did not err in designating this case as complex” due to its many defendants, 16 serious charges, voluminous discovery, and seven defendants facing similar prosecution in Oregon, Navarro wrote.
     Because Leen did not err, Navarro overruled Cavalier’s objection to the case’s designation as complex.
     She also overruled his objection to Leen’s vacating the calendar call and trial dates, saying Cavalier’s “perceived violation of his speedy trial rights” is incorrect.
     Navarro said federal law allows extensions of the 70-day timeline for a “speedy and public trial” when “‘the ends of justice served … outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.'”
     The Ninth Circuit ruled that the continuance “must be specifically limited in time” and justified with factual reference, Navarro wrote.
     She said the extension is warranted due to the case’s complexity, Cavalier’s case being joined with 18 others with no severance granted, and Cavalier’s facing charges in Oregon.
     Cavalier also objected to being taken back to the District of Oregon, where he faces federal charges for his involvement in the wintertime takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.
     Since he’s already in Oregon, Navarro overruled his objection as moot. (Last page)
     Several news and other reports refer to Cavalier as a bodyguard for Cliven and Ammon Bundy’s and said he falsely claimed to be a Marine Corps veteran. The Marine Corps said he was not a member of the service branch.
     He is among seven Nevada defendants also facing a separate trial for the wintertime takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. He faces 11 counts in Nevada for his involvement in the April 2014 standoff at the Bundy Ranch near Bunkerville.
     His Las Vegas attorney Mace Yampolsky was not available by telephone after hours Wednesday evening.

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