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Jury seated, so it's time for opening arguments in first Bundy ranch retrial

Rancher Cliven Bundy is shown in April 2014 near his ranch in Bunkerville, Nev. (MGN Online)

With a contentious jury selection completed last week, opening arguments begin Monday morning for four "low-level" Bunkerville standoff defendants accused of joining rancher Cliven Bundy's armed stand against the federal government.

Two of those defendants were convicted, and four are being retried.

The first jury for the retrial was nearly all-female, but after extensive arguments between the prosecution and defense last week, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro restructured the jury to replace three of the women with three men. Minority representation on the jury did not change.

Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Steven Stewart and Ricky Lovelien are being retried on charges that they supplied the firepower in an assault against federal agents who tried to round up Bundy's cattle from public lands in 2014.

They are charged with conspiracy, extortion, threats, assault and related counts for their role in the armed standoff. If convicted of all counts, the men face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 57 years.

Arguments are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the federal courthouse in downtown Las Vegas.

It is likely that security around the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse will be tight. At the first trial, about 100 local and federal agents patrolled the entire area while about a dozen Bundy supporters gathered on Las Vegas Boulevard South.

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