Home The Last Days News For The Last Days Feds win a delay in release of 9 Hutaree members
Feds win a delay in release of 9 Hutaree members PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Watchman   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 22:46
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Original Article at: freep.com

POSTED: MAY 4, 2010

BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A federal judge late Monday agreed to delay until 5 p.m. Wednesday a decision to release nine members of a Lenawee County Christian militia group, who were expected to be released this morning.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said the government's request for a stay was "woefully inadequate," but said that given the public interest in her decision Monday to grant bond to the defendants, a temporary delay was justified.

Roberts gave prosecutors until 5 p.m. Wednesday to tell her whether the U.S. Solicitor General will appeal.

• PDF: Judge's order to release Hutaree on bond

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade asked for the stay early Monday night saying the Hutaree militia members had threatened to kill police, and in light of Monday's fatal police shooting in Detroit: "Given the defendants' obvious animosity towards police officers and their previous discussion regarding their intent to bomb a police funeral, this fact presents additional reasonable basisfor the requested stay."

Defense lawyers were quick to respond. "That's outrageous," said William Swor, who represents David Stone, 45, of Clayton, the leader of the Hutaree.

Because of the stay, defense lawyers said they postponed plans to appear for a 10:30 a.m. court proceeding to arrange for their clients' release. They have been locked up since being arrested in late March.

Bond restrictions include house arrest

A federal judge in Detroit dealt prosecutors a setback in their case against a Lenawee County militia group, saying they didn't present enough evidence to keep the defendants locked up pending trial.

"The United States is correct that it need not wait until people are killed before it arrests conspirators," Roberts said in her decision. "But, the defendants are also correct: Their right to engage in hate-filled, venomous speech, is a right that deserves First Amendment protection."

 

A federal magistrate ordered members of the Hutaree held without bond last month, saying there were no combination of conditions that would safeguard the community or assure their appearance for trial if released on bond.

But Roberts disagreed and imposed two dozen bond restrictions, including placing the defendants under house arrest with electronic monitoring and a curfew. But late Monday, she agreed to delay the release to give prosecutors time to appeal to the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor, said he wasn't surprised by Roberts' decision, given the skepticism she expressed during last week's bond appeal hearings.

"She imposed some pretty onerous bond conditions," Henning added. "These defendants will not be free to roam the countryside."

Roberts also ordered them to surrender their concealed weapons permits and passports, not to possess firearms or other dangerous weapons, or have any contact with codefendants or members of other militia groups.

They must also provide a list of names of the other Hutaree members and phone records to show that they're not communicating with them.

1st Amendment at issue

"Discussions about killing local law enforcement officers -- and even discussions about killing members of the judicial branch of government -- do not translate to conspiring to overthrow, or levy war against, the United States government," Roberts said.

The fact that other Hutaree members weren't indicted, Roberts said, "is an indication that the offenses charged against these defendants may not be as serious as the government contends."

Roberts also said most of the defendants don't have criminal records.

Moreover, Roberts said other defendants charged with serious federal offenses have been released on bond . She cited the case of two defendants in a fatal 2001 armored car robbery in Dearborn; the suspected leader of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, who is charged in a federal racketeering case; and Robert Miles, the former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, who was freed on bond in 1987 while awaiting trial on murder and sedition.

 

A federal magistrate ordered members of the Hutaree held without bond last month, saying there were no combination of conditions    that would safeguard the community or assure their appearance for trial if released on bond.

But Roberts disagreed and imposed two dozen bond restrictions, including placing the defendants under house arrest with electronic monitoring and a curfew. But late Monday, she agreed to delay the release to give prosecutors time to appeal to the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor, said he wasn't surprised by Roberts' decision, given the skepticism she expressed during last week's bond appeal hearings.

"She imposed some pretty onerous bond conditions," Henning added. "These defendants will not be free to roam the countryside."

Roberts also ordered them to surrender their concealed weapons permits and passports, not to possess firearms or other dangerous weapons, or have any contact with codefendants or members of other militia groups.

They must also provide a list of names of the other Hutaree members and phone records to show that they're not communicating with them.

1st Amendment at issue

"Discussions about killing local law enforcement officers -- and even discussions about killing members of the judicial branch of government -- do not translate to conspiring to overthrow, or levy war against, the United States government," Roberts said.

The fact that other Hutaree members weren't indicted, Roberts said, "is an indication that the offenses charged against these defendants may not be as serious as the government contends."

Roberts also said most of the defendants don't have criminal records.

Moreover, Roberts said other defendants charged with serious federal offenses have been released on bond . She cited the case of two defendants in a fatal 2001 armored car robbery in Dearborn; the suspected leader of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, who is charged in a federal racketeering case; and Robert Miles, the former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, who was freed on bond in 1987 while awaiting trial on murder and sedition.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 22:55
 

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