On February 7, 2018, federal prosecutors filed a motion requesting that the Court reconsider its orders to dismiss with prejudice the superseding indictment against Cliven, Ryan, and Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Payne.
According to the 29-page motion, “the Court erred when it dismissed the indictment with prejudice on the ground that the Government failed to disclose information that could be used only to support non-cognizable and unsupportable defenses, or arguably rebut three alleged overt acts.” Additionally, it argues, “to the extent the Court’s dismissal with prejudice is predicated on the materiality of the late-disclosed evidence to defendant’s theories of ‘self-defense, provocation, and intimidation,’ it is in error. Because these theories are not cognizable on the undisputed facts, they cannot form the basis of a Brady violation.”
The prosecution suggests that rather than dismissing all charges, dismissing the counts related to the Court’s interpretation of Brady violations would be a less drastic remedy. They argue that the dismissal with prejudice “has major ramifications for all public lands law enforcement officers,” and would “encourage the defendants, their supporters, and the public to disrespect the law and the lawful orders of the courts.”
The case against the Bundys and Ryan Payne ended in a mistrial December 20, 2017, and Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case with prejudice on January 8, 2018.
In a separate filing, the prosecution asked to dismiss with prejudice all counts in the superseding indictment against the four remaining defendants facing trial for the April, 2014 Nevada standoff. Those four are Dave and Mel Bundy, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, and Jason Woods.
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In what seems a sudden and surprising reversal of her prior denial of release for the Bundys and Ryan Payne as their trial proceeds in Nevada, Judge Gloria Navarro has granted release from prison for Cliven and Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Payne. She had previously reversed her decision to deny Ryan Bundy release, allowing him to move to a halfway house on November 13, 2017.
This decision to release the defendants came after a sealed hearing, details of which are still not publicly available.
Ammon Bundy walked out of the courthouse early Thursday with his family to be greeted by a crowd of supporters and the press.
Cliven Bundy has refused the conditions of release, opting to remain in prison. His attorney, Brett Whipple, stated, “to be released, he would have to agree to conditions. In his opinion, he’s not willing to take a deal with the government when he hasn’t done anything wrong to begin with…. He’s very principled and he doesn’t want to violate those principals and I respect that.”
Ryan Payne was also granted release, pending approval from Judge Anna Brown in Oregon federal court. Payne still faces sentencing in Oregon for his role in the 2016 Malheur Wildlife refuge occupation. A hearing is scheduled for 3:00pm today (Friday) in the Portland federal courthouse.
The trial in Nevada is expected to resume December 11, 2017.
Update, 12/2/2017: Ryan Payne was released Friday, 12/1/2017. It looks as though there will be a release hearing for Dave and Mel Bundy, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, and Jason Woods on Monday. Here are the conditions for release.