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New Hampshire man wants to withdraw plea in Bunkerville standoff case

A New Hampshire man wants to withdraw his guilty plea in the Bunkerville standoff case involving the Bundy family.

Gerald DeLemus, 61, who co-chaired Veterans for Donald Trump in New Hampshire before his March arrest, pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy and extortion charges.

But his Las Vegas lawyer Brian Smith said in court papers this week that DeLemus “has expressed a desire to withdraw” the plea and that Smith now wants to withdraw as his lawyer.

“The reasons that Mr. DeLemus will cite to as a basis for the withdrawal would almost certainly place his counsel in the position of being a witness at a hearing on the matter,” Smith wrote.

A specific clause in DeLemus’ plea agreement prohibits him from backing out of the deal.

His interest in withdrawing comes after a Portland, Oregon, jury last week acquitted all seven defendants, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy, of federal charges in the armed takeover of a government wildlife refuge in Oregon.

DeLemus, the Bundy brothers and their father, Cliven, were among 19 defendants charged in the Bunkerville standoff with law enforcement outside the Bundy ranch in April 2014.

Federal prosecutors describe DeLemus, in federal custody since his arrest, as a “gunman and mid-level organizer” in a scheme to assault law enforcement officers who had rounded up Bundy cattle.

The Nevada defendants are accused of conspiring to assault Bureau of Land Management agents and take back impounded Bundy cattle that had been grazing on federal land.

DeLemus, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, arrived in Nevada too late to participate in the assault near the Bundy ranch outside Bunkerville on April 12, 2014, but he quickly became an “organizer of gunmen on the ground” at the ranch, prosecutors alleged. Bunkerville is about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

DeLemus, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, arrived in Nevada too late to participate in the assault near the Bundy ranch outside Bunkerville on April 12, 2014, but he quickly became an “organizer of gunmen on the ground” at the ranch, prosecutors alleged. He was placed in charge of “Camp Liberty,” where armed militia members were housed, prosecutors alleged.

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