Videos lead de­fense to open Bundy case

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - NATION -

LAS VE­GAS — A fed­eral jury got a first look Tues­day at videos of con­fronta­tions in­volv­ing armed fed­eral agents and Bundy fam­ily mem­bers that rancher Cliven Bundy’s lawyer said pro­vided a cat­a­lyst for an April 2014 gun­point standoff and a trial now un­der­way in Las Ve­gas.

One clip at­tor­ney Bret Whip­ple said spread widely on the in­ter­net showed Bundy’s sis­ter, Mar­garet Hus­ton, thrown to the ground by a fed­eral agent af­ter she ap­proached the driver’s side of a ve­hi­cle in­volved in a U.S. Bureau of Land Man­age­ment cat­tle round-up near the Bundy ranch.

Whip­ple de­rided an in­ter­pre­ta­tion that Act­ing U.S. At­tor­ney Steven Myhre of­fered to the jury — that the 57-year-old Hus­ton had to be pulled away from the front of the truck and knocked down for her own safety.

Myhre cast the 71-year-old Cliven Bundy as the leader of a con­spir­acy with sons Ryan and Am­mon Bundy and co-de­fen­dant Ryan Payne to en­list armed mili­tia mem­bers to force the fed­eral agents “at the end of a gun” to aban­don ef­forts to col­lect his cat­tle from pub­lic range­land.

“Videos don’t lie,” Whip­ple said. “See if Aunt Meg was in front of the ve­hi­cle.”

An­other clip showed Bundy’s son, David Bundy, hauled to the ground and ar­rested on the shoul­der of a state high­way by two agents who ap­proached him for tak­ing photos of armed men with guns on a ridge top near the Bundy ranch.

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