Videos lead defense to open Bundy case
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.