LAS VEGAS (CN) – Cliven Bundy’s son Ryan wants nine of the 16 felony counts against him dismissed as duplicative of other federal charges stemming from an April 2014 standoff with federal authorities.
Bundy filed the pro se motion on Nov. 28 in Las Vegas Federal Court. He, his father, his brother Ammon and 14 others are awaiting trial for their armed standoff with officials who tried to round up cattle that Cliven Bundy had been grazing illegally on federal land for years without paying grazing fees.
The criminal charges include conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, assault on a federal officer, use of a firearm in a crime of violence, interstate travel in aid of extortion, threatening a federal officer, and obstruction of justice.
Ryan Bundy wants counts 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14 and 15 dismissed.
“Multiplicitous counts violate the double jeopardy clause, because they punish a defendant two or more times,” Bundy says in his 12-page motion.
He says counts 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 merely rehash count 2, and counts 6, 8 and 15 “merely repeat the essence and elements of other counts.”
“The indictment in this case begins with a lengthy story describing the government’s interpretation of events,” which “alleges that defendants worked and/or planned together to thwart by threats of violence efforts of the federal government to round up hundreds of cows,” Bundy says in the motion.
Count 2 accuses him and others of a “conspiracy to ‘prevent by force, intimidation and threats of violence federal law enforcement officers from discharging the duties of their office.’”
Counts 5, 8, 13 and 14 accuse him of “the same essential facts and elements”: Hobbs Act violations, of delaying the federal government’s efforts to confiscate about 400 head of cattle at the Bunkerville ranch.
“Five counts of this indictment lay out the same factual allegations, with the same basic elements: chiefly, that the defendants worked with others to threaten or intimidate federal officers away from the performance of the officers’ duties to round up or impound cattle,” Bundy wrote.
He says counts 6, 9 and 15 accuse him and other defendants of the “same basic elements, but add gun-brandishing elements” already are included in count 3.
Count 3 accuses them of aiding and abetting one another, while knowingly using, carrying and brandishing firearms, while conspiring to impede and injure an officer.
He wants the counts dismissed, which would reduce the charges against him to seven.
The trial is set to start on Feb. 6, 2017.
Federal prosecutors want to try the defendants in three separate trials lasting about two months each.