Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2017

Currently: 69° — Complete forecast

Jury selected to hear arguments in Bundy standoff trial

Image

Steve Marcus

Rancher Cliven Bundy stands at his ranch house Sunday, May 4, 2014, near Bunkerville.

BLM-Bundy Standoff: April 12, 2014

Photos of the April 12, 2014 stand-off between the Bureau of Land Management and supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy near Bunkerville, Nevada. The BLM eventually called off their roundup of Bundy cattle citing safety concerns. Courtesy of Shannon Bushman. Launch slideshow »

A 28-year-old Las Vegas mother, a real estate salesman and a dog-walking small-business owner will be among the 12 jurors who will decide the fate of embattled Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and three others in a high-profile land rights case.

Lawyers finished selecting the jury of six men and six women just after noon today, picking from nearly 100 potential jurors in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. Five of the jurors are white, three are black, two are Asian and two are Hispanic.

Four alternates also were selected.

Jurors will be tasked with deciding whether Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and U.S. Army veteran Ryan Payne knowingly conspired against the Bureau of Land Management and illegally thwarted an effort to round up hundreds of Cliven Bundy’s cattle.

Authorities allege Cliven Bundy let his cattle graze on federal land for more than 20 years without paying more than $1 million in fees.

The defendants each face 22 felony counts that could land them in prison for life.

The charges were filed after a tense standoff that pitted more than 100 ranchers and citizen militiamen against federal authorities in April 2014, near Cliven Bundy’s ranch near Bunkerville.

During the weeklong process of seating the jury, lawyers asked questions about the Oct. 1 mass shooting at a Las Vegas Strip music festival and dug into potential jurors’ personal beliefs about gun rights and citizen protests.

Among potential jurors who didn’t make today’s final cut were a Route 91 Harvest festival attendee and a woman who was locked down at the Luxor after last month’s shooting. Others were eliminated because serving on the jury would have caused a financial hardship.

Outside of court, Cliven Bundy’s attorney Bret Whipple said the defense was comfortable with the jurors, who have lived in Nevada for between five and 55 years. “We wanted long-term Nevadans that understand that this is a Nevada issue,” he said.

Trisha Young, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada, declined to comment about an ongoing case.

Opening statements in the trial are set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.