May 4, 2010

Yesterday a federal judge ordered the release of nine of the Hutaree militia members, arrested and charged with plotting to kill local law enforcement and start a nation-wide revolution. Today, prosecutors won a temporary victory. The Hutaree militia members release is delayed allowing the prosecution to determine whether or not the they will appeal the release of the militia members to await trial. Read about it below and see photos and a video.

hutaree militia
Hutaree Militia Members Release Delayed

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts had ordered that nine members of the Hutaree militia group be released on bond to await their trials for plotting to wage war against the United States government and plans to use ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Now, prosecutors have won a temporary delay in their release. Prosecutors have been given until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to declare whether or not they will appeal the ruling to free the militia members. When that declaration is presented to Judge Roberts, she will determine whether to further delay their release.

Prosecutors have argued that the Hutaree militia members are too dangerous to be freed from jail to await their trial. The Lenawee County, Michigan group has been jailed since their arrest in March on charges of conspiracy to commit sedition, or rebellion, against thegovernment and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.

In her decision to release the group pending trial, the judge said that the prosecution had failed to persuade her that the militia members should be denied bail. She wrote:

“The United States is correct that it need not wait until people are killed before it arrests conspirators,” U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said in a 36-page decision. “But, the Defendants are also correct: their right to engage in hate-filled, venomous speech, is a right that deserves First Amendment protection.”

The group were to be released today with strict conditions such as electronic monitoring. However, on Monday evening, Judge Roberts put her ruling on hold pending the prosecutions arguments as to their plans for appeal that are due to her on Wednesday afternoon.Prosecutors asked for that time so that they can consult with the U.S. Justice Department about a possible appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The judge expects prosecutors to convince her that they can succeed in their appeal before she will continue to deny the militia members bond.

Part of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet reasoning for asking for the Hutaree militia members release delayed is that a police officer was murdered in a drug raid on Monday. Prosecutors stated they believed the Hutaree group might attack officers at the funeral. The shooting of the police officer has no connection at all with the Hutaree militia and defense attorney William Swor says the argument is ‘outrageous’.

Pictured in the mugshots above are members of the Hutaree militia. From top left, David Brian Stone Sr. of Clayton, Mich.; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich.; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio; Tina Mae Stone; Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich.; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, and bottom row from left, Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich., and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.

The video below is a news report about the Hutaree militia members release.

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