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Judge dismisses charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and sons
Nevada's newly appointed acting U.S. Attorney said in a brief statement that she will decide whether to appeal the ruling.
By Delila James
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — A federal judge in Las Vegas, Nevada, dismissed felony charges against Cliven Bundy on Monday while rebuking the prosecution for "flagrant misconduct," according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed all 15 counts against Bundy, 71, his sons, and Montana militia leader Ryan Payne.

"The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated," the judge said, as Bundy supporters erupted in sobs and gasps.

Navarro found that the prosecution, led by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, distorted the truth, purposefully tried to mislead, and recklessly disregarded legal requirements to turn over evidence to the defense.

"Federal prosecutors clearly bungled this case and let the Bundys get away with breaking the law," said Kieran Suckling, an official with the Center for Biological Diversity, which has long worked to protect endangered desert tortoises on federal land where Bundy cows graze, in the Tribune report. "The Bundys allied a militia to mount an armed insurrection against the government. The failure of this case will only embolden this violent and racist anti-government movement that want to take over our pubic lands."

Ryan and Ammon Bundy, who took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon in 2016 in a call for U.S. government to hand over public lands to local control, were acquitted by a Portland jury more than a year ago.

Nevada's newly appointed acting U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson said in a brief statement that she will decide whether to appeal the ruling.

Bundy was defiant as he emerged a free man.

"We're not done with this," he said.