Ammon Bundy and nine others connected with the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge entered not guilty pleas Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland, reported The Oregonian
Bundy entered his plea in front of U.S. District Judge Anna Brown with the other defendants. He was arrested with seven others during a fatal shootout in late January and was charged with federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats, according to USA Today
A total of 25 people, including Ammon Bundy's brother Ryan, have been indicted for alleged conspiracy in relation to the Malheur case, noted The Oregonian. Brown entered a not guilty plea for Kenneth Medenbach, who told the court he wanted to represent himself.
Six other defendants waived their right to appear at the arraignment. Prosecutors told the court that they planned to merge the indictments of all 25 defendants into one case in March, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting
Federal prosecutors also sought more time to prepare for trial, asking the judge to rule it a "complex" case. Brown will likely rule on prosecutors time request on March 9.
"(The defendants) have been in custody for weeks," Brown said while urging prosecutors to speed up discovery in the case. "Get them something so they can get started."
Cliven Bundy, the father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, was arrested in Oregon on Feb. 10 and held without bail in connection with an armed 2014 standoff with federal authorities near his home in Nevada, noted CNN
. That standoff with the Bureau of Land Management officials over cattle grazing rights saw federal law enforcement officials back down to avoid violence, said CNN.
Cliven Bundy was charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, assault on a federal law enforcement officer, using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, obstruction of the administration of justice, and interference with commerce by extortion, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement
Cliven Bundy's sons were also indicted by a federal grand jury in February for the 2014 case, a federal prosecutor in Nevada told CNN.
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