The Latest: Openings end in Bundy standoff trial in Vegas

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Posted: Feb 09, 2017 3:01 PM
The Latest: Openings end in Bundy standoff trial in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on trial in Las Vegas for six defendants accused of illegally wielding weapons to block a federal roundup of states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy's cows in April 2014 (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Opening statements are done and testimony begins Monday for six defendants accused of conspiracy and illegally wielding weapons to block a federal roundup of states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy's cows in April 2014.

A prosecutor on Thursday showed photos of each of the six with a rifle, and cast them as having answered Bundy's call to "do whatever it takes" to prevent federal agents from confiscating his cattle.

Defense attorneys told the jury that no one planned an armed standoff with federal Bureau of Land Management agents.

Defendant Todd Engel, serving as his own lawyer, said sure, he had a gun.

But that's legal, he said, and he didn't threaten anyone.

No shots were fired, but the incident reverberated across the West amid an ongoing debate over federal management of vast tracts of public land.

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10:45 a.m.

Defense lawyers for six men accused of illegally arming themselves in a standoff with federal agents over a roundup of rancher Cliven Bundy's cows say their clients were simply standing up for their beliefs.

The group went on trial in federal court in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Prosecutors say they brought weapons from Idaho, Arizona and Oklahoma to mount a massive armed assault against federal officers in Nevada.

Defendant Todd Engel is serving as his own attorney. He told jurors that he never threatened agents and couldn't conspire with anyone because he arrived in Nevada hours before the standoff.

No shots were fired in the April 2014 standoff, but the incident reverberated across Western rangeland amid the ongoing, heated debate over what critics call federal overreach in the management of vast tracts of public land.

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10 a.m.

Prosecutors have begun opening statements in Las Vegas in the case against six defendants accused of illegally wielding weapons to block a federal roundup of states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy's cows nearly three years ago.

A chief deputy U.S. attorney is telling a jury Thursday that the men brought weapons from Idaho, Arizona and Oklahoma to Nevada and conspired with Bundy to mount a massive armed assault against federal law enforcement officers.

Defense attorneys are expected to cast their clients as citizens who were only exercising their constitutional free speech and weapon rights.

No shots were fired in the April 2014 standoff near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

But the incident reverberated across Western rangeland where Bundy is revered by backers for declaring that the property belongs to the people, not the federal government.

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1:25 a.m.

Trial is opening in Las Vegas for six defendants accused of illegally wielding weapons to block a federal round-up of states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy's cows nearly three years ago.

A U.S. District Court jury will hear Thursday from prosecutors saying the six men deserve prison for conspiring against the government — and from defense attorneys casting their clients as citizens who exercised constitutional free speech and weapon rights.

No shots were fired in the April 2014 standoff near Bunkerville.

But the victory of self-styled militia over federal rangers reverberated across Western rangeland where Bundy is revered by backers for declaring that property belongs to the people, not the government in Washington, D.C.

This trial will also be a preview for trials upcoming for Bundy, four sons and six other defendants.