Defense: Midwest militia more like ‘social club’
By Ed White
February 14, 2012
DETROIT (AP) — A Midwest militia whose members prosecutors say were willing “to go to war” against the U.S. government was more like a “social club” whose talk was little more than fantasy, defense attorneys say.
Displaying guns, vests and other military gear, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline told jurors Monday that members of anti-government Hutaree wanted to kill a police officer as a springboard to a broader rebellion against the U.S. government. Graveline said the group was looking for some type of conflict to trigger an attack — maybe a traffic stop, a search warrant or a dispute between authorities and another militia.
Two defense attorneys offered an opening rebuttal to the government’s introduction, telling jurors there was no specific plan to do any harm to anyone in authority.
Jurors will hear more opening statements from defense attorneys Tuesday in the case against seven members of the Hutaree. With so many defendants, opening remarks are taking longer than usual in federal court in Detroit. Three attorneys want to speak Tuesday before evidence is presented.