Ammon Bundy requests trespassing charges be dismissed, claims Brady violation

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports

Ammon Bundy, who announced his run for governor on Saturday despite being banned from the Idaho Statehouse, has hired an attorney and is demanding that his criminal charges connected to allegedly trespassing at the state capitol be dismissed.

In a motion filed on June 17, just 11 days before the trial is set to begin, Bundy claimed there was a Brady violation in the case.

The term “Brady violation” stems from a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, in which the court ruled that prosecutors must turn over any and all evidence to the defense that could exonerate the defendant.

The motion, which also names defendant Aaron Schmidt, claims that the state withheld security footage of the August arrest, but released the video to the media including Idaho Reports. The defendants claim they requested the Aug. 25, 2020, video from the Department of Administration and the Department responded saying they did not have any video or audio of the arrest.

The video that Idaho Reports obtained and published in August was not provided by the Department of Administration, but came from Idaho in Session, which is a service staffed by Idaho Public Television and run in collaboration with the legislature. 

Bundy’s jury trial is scheduled for June 28, and the motion claims that prosecutors “refused exculpatory evidence” on multiple occasions.

In a June 17 objection to Bundy’s request, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Whitney Welsh wrote that Bundy chose to represent himself for 10 months and he did not appear for the initial trial date which was set for March 15, 2021. 

On May 4, the court set the new trial date of June 28, and prosecutors are again prepared for trial, Welsh wrote in the motion.

Court records show Bundy has since hired Boise attorney Sam Bishop. 

Bundy’s next court date is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday before Magistrate Judge David Manweiler. He faces misdemeanor charges of suspected trespassing and resisting arrest.

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