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Ryan Bundy Joins Request For Later Trial Date

<p>Ryan Bundy</p>

Courtesy of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office


Ryan Bundy

Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the leaders of the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, are requesting a later trial date. It’s the latest in a series of court filings filed late Thursday and early Friday.

Ammon Bundy wants to be released from custody before telling “the court when he and his legal counsel can reasonably be prepared to proceed to trial,” according to court filings.

Ammon Bundy’s attorneys, J. Morgan Philpot and Marcus Mumford, argue there are several reasons they want a later trial date, including “the need to change his litigation approach and potentially revisit significant defense options.”

The lawyers also noted that the case has been complicated because Bundy is being detained. They note that Bundy is being prosecuted in Nevada related to a 2014 armed standoff there between ranchers and the federal government.

“The effect of the courts ruling is that it was error to have detained Defendant from the outset of this case, and Defendant should have been out on release able to review discovery, confer with his lawyers unimpeded, and assist in assembling the resources for his defense,” Bundy’s attorneys wrote in court filings.

By Friday, Ryan Bundy — who is representing himself in the case — said he too wanted a trial later than the scheduled Sept. 7 date.

"My plan has always been to have a joint trial with my brother Ammon because we have a joint defense agreement and strategy," Ryan Bundy wrote.

Ryan Bundy added that he was not aware Ammon was seeking a later trial date because the Multnomah County Detention Center has kept the brothers from communicating.

In separate court filings, lawyers argue defendants Ryan Payne, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Shawna Cox, Pete Santilli and David Fry should be severed from count four of the superseding indictment, which alleges theft of a government vehicle.

The filing states that the charge only applies to defendant Ken Medenbach, who was arrested after taking a U.S. Fish and Wildlife vehicle from the refuge to a Safeway parking lot in Burns.

"Beside the allegation that (Medenbach's) conduct occurred during the protest, Court 4 has nothing to do with the protest itself or the alleged conspiracy," defense attorneys Lisa Hay and Rich Federico wrote.

Defendants are scheduled to appear back in court Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Conrad Wilson is a reporter and producer covering criminal justice and legal affairs for OPB.