Criminal Justice

Federal Judge Acquits Militia Members of Most Serious Charges

A federal judge in Detroit has granted motions for acquittal in a case against seven members of the Hutaree militia who were accused of conspiring against the United States.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts acquitted five defendants of all charges, and acquitted two others of the most serious charges, report the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, the New York Times and Reuters.

Hutaree leader David Stone Sr. may have wanted to engage in a war with the federal government, Roberts said, but there is no evidence that the defendants agreed with the idea. “It is a stretch to infer that other members of the Hutaree knew of this plan, and agreed to further it,” she wrote in her opinion (PDF).

The acquittals were for seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosives, and using firearms in the commission of a felony. Stone and his son, Joshua Stone, still face lesser weapons charges.

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