Defense speaks in Bundy ranch standoff trial

Posted at 1:03 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 15:03:19-05


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.

(by Associated Press)