LAS VEGAS (KLAS) –
Supporters of Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy celebrated on Wednesday outside the Federal Courthouse after Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial in the case.
Cliven, his two sons Ryan and Ammon, and militia member Ryan Payne are accused of leading an armed standoff with federal agents in 2014.
In Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Navarro said there’s no possible way to move forward with a fair trial because prosecutors failed to hand over evidence that could have helped the defense fight their case.
“We’re not done yet. We’ve got a lot of fighting still to do, but good things are happening,” said Ammon Bundy, defendant.
The judge reviewed the thousands of pages of evidence which was withheld including FBI reports about BLM snipers on standby near the Bundy ranch, although prosecutors repeatedly said that never happened.
There was also surveillance footage of the Bundy home and interviews which was given to the defense too late.
The defense claimed the missing evidence would have altered their decisions in the jury selection process, opening statements, and other strategies.
“They are doing everything that is not what government is supposed to do. Our government is supposed to protect rights, not hurt them, not destroy them, not take them,” said Ryan Bundy, defendant.
Ryan and Ammon Bundy, as well as Ryan Payne, are out of custody. Cliven Bundy is still behind bars but by choice.
Previously the judge ordered the release of all four men, but Cliven declined because he didn’t agree to the conditions claiming he’s an innocent man.
Cliven’s attorney said he plans to file an emergency request so Cliven can leave jail.
Prosecutors in the case didn’t have much to say inside or outside the courtroom.
The judge will now decide whether to allow a retrial or dismiss the charges. A court hearing to address the matter will take place on Jan. 8, 2018.