Ammon Bundy released, Cliven Bundy choosing to remain behind bars

Cliven, Ammon, and Ryan Bundy, along with fourth defendant Ryan Payne, appear in federal court at the beginning of their trial in Las Vegas on Oct. 30, 2017. (Stewart Freshwater)

UPDATE: Ammon Bundy has been released. More details to follow.


LAS VEGAS (KSNV) -- It was a big day in Courtroom 7C of the Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas, as changes were made to the release of all three Bundy defendants.

Ammon Bundy will be released on Thursday from a federal detention center in Las Vegas. He was granted a supervised release after a judge verified evidence under certain conditions. He will be released under third-party custody, staying with a friend of the family in Las Vegas.

Ammon's release will be discussed in pretrial services on Thursday and he will be under 24/7 house arrest with certain exceptions. He must get approval in order to trial and can't have any contact with any other defendants -- including his brother, Ryan, and his father, Cliven -- or anyone on the witness list.

Ryan Bundy was already released a couple weeks ago to a halfway house in North Las Vegas. He will now be allowed to go home to his family in Mesquite. He will still be under supervised release and will have to remain in his home from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. each day.

The Bundys were involved in the standoff near Bunkerville, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, which became an iconic moment in a decades-long turf battle between the government agency assigned to manage vast tracts in the Western U.S. and ranchers whose cows graze the land.

Bundy argues that his family has used the same public range for more than a century — even before the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act set federal land policy. He maintains the land belongs to the state, not the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Cliven Bundy was granted release to the home of Jim Abbott in a supervised release with conditions similar to Ammon's, including 24/7 house arrest and permission to see his wife and family, but cannot speak to anyone testifying in the trial.

However, in a move that shocked many in the courtroom, he said no and wants to stay in prison.

His attorney stated that Cliven is a "man of principle" and doesn't want to be released unless everyone else is released.

While the decision shocked many in the courtroom, it didn't shock family members or Bundy supporters.

"The standard of liberty is innocent until proven guilty," Ryan Bundy told News 3 outside of the courtroom.

They also stated that Cliven believes he is innocent so there should be no conditions to his release.

While Judge Gloria Navarro originally refused released, she "reweighed the evidence." Details were not made public and the "detention hearing was under seal."

The trial continues on Monday, Dec. 11 at 9 a.m.

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