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Cliven Bundy opts to stay in jail after judge orders his release

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) - Cliven Bundy was expected to be released from prison Wednesday for the remainder of his federal trial, but the rancher said no to the judge's offer to release him. However, Bundy's sons, Ammon and Ryan, will go forward with their release.

The Bundys are on trial for a standoff with federal agents that occurred in 2014 when Bundy's cattle were grazing on federal land.

Now three out the four defendants will no longer be kept in jail. Cattle Rancher Cliven Bundy refused the judge’s offer with conditions for release. He will remain behind bars and he continues to choose to wear his jail jumpsuit during the trial.

The defendants face charges for conspiracy, threatening law enforcement officers and more. This trial goes back to the standoff in Bunkerville more than three years ago after the Bureau of Land Management seized Bundy’s cattle which was illegally grazing on public land.

Some supporters were armed, law enforcement was outnumbered, the cattle were released shortly after. The discussion first took place about releasing the defendants in a closed session on Wednesday.

Whipple would not disclose the reason behind the judge allowing for the release of the defendants, but later in the afternoon, the judge said she had the opportunity to reconsider the weight of the evidence and other factors.  She said there are risk and expressed concern, but is allowing for their release again with conditions.

Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon and defendant Ryan Payne are to be released with conditions for example, they cannot have weapons, must agree to GPS monitoring and can only go to certain places like court and church. Ryan Bundy has already been released.

“My father's position on not coming out is that he's an innocent man. He's not guilty of any crime. And the standard in America is that we are innocent until proven guilty.  It's the government's responsibility and it's their duty and their obligation to provide that proof.   We shouldn't have been in jail, not one day,” said Ryan Bundy.

Defense attorneys say these men have been detained for 21 to 22 months. They expect Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne to walk out of the courthouse early Thursday morning.


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