Following a brief detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Hoffman found that no conditions of release could be fashioned to ensure that Bundy would appear for his May 2 trial.
Hoffman said the serious nature of the charges against Bundy, the weight of the government’s evidence, and Bundy’s history of disobeying court orders all figured in his decision.
The judge said the government spent 22 months investigating the April, 12, 2014, confrontation and obtained one of the most detailed indictments he has seen. He added that it appeared there was “no serious question” that Bundy was the leader of the armed uprising against U.S. Bureau of Land Management officers.
Outside the courthouse afterward, Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy, criticized the judge’s decision.
“This just proves the federal government is totally out of control,” she said. “Where does it say in the Constitution that the federal government has jurisdiction over a sovereign state of Nevada?”
Bundy’s lawyer, Joel Hansen, said afterward that he would ask a district judge to overturn Hoffman’s order. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.
In court, Hansen argued that Bundy was not present during the Bunkerville confrontation and did not participate in the alleged conspiracy against the federal officers.
Hansen said 33 letters of support he obtained from Bundy’s friends, family and neighbors demonstrated that Bundy was a man of honesty and integrity and deserved to be set free.
Bundy and 18 others — including four of his sons, Ammon, Ryan, Melvyn and David — were charged in a federal indictment in Las Vegas earlier this month in connection with the Bunkerville showdown.
The Bundy patriarch faces 16 felony counts, including extortion, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, and using and carrying a firearm in a crime of violence.
Federal prosecutors have pushed for Bundy’s continued detention, arguing he is a “lawless” and “violent” man.
READ MORE: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/bundy-must-remain-custody-pending-trial