Judge won’t grant new trial in Recapture Canyon case

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San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman leaves federal court on Dec. 23, 2014.

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has rejected a request for a new trial and an acquittal for San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, convicted of his role in organizing a protest ride over closed roads in Recapture Canyon.

In an order issued Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer rejected Lyman and co-defendant Monte Wells’ claims that new evidence was discovered that the federal government failed to disclose. Nuffer said the evidence would not be admissible.

The judge also rejected a request for a new trial based on Utah’s notice that it intended to sue over road claims in rural areas. Again, Judge Nuffer ruled it inadmissible.

Read the judge’s ruling here:

In a separate order, the judge rejected Lyman’s motion for an acquittal.

Lyman and Wells were convicted for their roles in last year’s protest ride in Recapture Canyon, where a number of demonstrators on ATVs road through an area to call attention to federal road closures. Lyman faces sentencing on Dec. 18.