Judge acquits 7 Hutaree militia members accused of terrorist overthrow plot
KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL
Detroit Free Press
March 27, 2012
In a sharp rebuke, a federal judge today acquitted seven members of a Lenawee County militia group of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government with weapons of mass destruction.
U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said federal prosecutors failed in five weeks of trial to prove that the Hutaree had a specific plan to kill a police officer and attack law enforcement personnel.
While the testimony showed that Hutaree leader David Stone Jr. “may have wanted to engage in a war with the federal government … it is totally devoid of any agreement to do so between Stone and the other defendants,” Roberts said in a 28-page decision.
“This plan is utterly short on specifics,” Robert said, adding that, “it is a stretch to infer that other members of the Hutaree knew of this plan, and agreed to further it.”
Attorney William Swor, who is representing the accused ringleader David Stone Sr., called today’s ruling “a victory for freedom of speech” and “a good day for justice.” He applauded Roberts for, as he put it, carefully reviewing all the evidence and concluding there was no case.