“The bottom line is a hung jury is not the end of the world,” Las Vegas lawyer Shawn Perez said Monday after the jury announced its first impasse. “But it’s (more time) in prison for my client.”

Robert Anglen

The Arizona Republic

Judge Declares Mistrial in Bundy Ranch Case

LAS VEGAS — A federal judge declared a mistrial Monday against four men accused of taking up arms against federal agents during the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014.

A jury convicted two defendants on multiple counts but could not reach a unanimous verdict against four others.

U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro said the four men will be retried June 26.

The case was the first of three trials against 17 defendants charged in the standoff, which pitted cattle ranchers, anti-government protesters and militia members against the Bureau of Land Management.

Navarro’s decision will delay the start of the second trial against cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who are described by prosecutors as the leaders of the standoff.

The jury told Navarro on Monday morning that it was “hopelessly deadlocked” and could not reach verdicts on the four defendants.

Navarro ordered the jurors to continue deliberating to see if they could reach additional verdicts. But just before 1 p.m., Navarro declared a mistrial and ordered a retrial.

The defendants faced 10 identical charges and could spend the rest of their lives in prison if convicted.

The jury did not convict any defendants on conspiracy charges, viewed as a huge blow to government prosecutors who built the case to pivot on two counts of conspiracy.

Gregory Burleson of Arizona, was convicted on eight charges, including threatening and assaulting a federal officer, obstruction, interstate travel in aid of extortion and brandishing a weapon. Burleson had told a video crew after the standoff that he had come to the Bundy Ranch to kill federal agents. The video crew was made up of undercover FBI agents.

Todd Engel of Idaho was convicted of obstruction and interstate travel in aid of extortion.

“The bottom line is a hung jury is not the end of the world,” Las Vegas lawyer Shawn Perez said Monday after the jury announced its first impasse. “But it’s (more time) in prison for my client.”

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Marie Ries (center) marches with others in support
Arizona Republic photo

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