Bundy standoff trial underway

LAS VEGAS - Opening statements began Tuesday in the federal trial of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and a co-defendant in a 2014 armed standoff against government agents.

Prosecutors allege the 71-year-old Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Payne led a self-styled militia to stop federal agents at gunpoint from enforcing court orders to remove Bundy's cattle from public rangeland.

Defense attorneys say the four men didn't conspire with anyone and didn't wield weapons. They say no shots were fired in the standoff near Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Bundy refuses to pay grazing fees to a federal government that he maintains has no authority over land in the states.

Federal prosecutors have twice failed to win full convictions at trial of men who had guns during the tense confrontation.

The current trial is expected to take four months.


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