Federal prosecutors today argued in a court document that their office has met the threshold for the detention of nine members of the Hutaree militia group charged with seditious conspiracy even if they did not yet prove imminent harm to the government.
Questions about the prosecution’s case arose today during a bond hearing in which U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts asked prosecutors "
She was specifically concerned about the seditious conspiracy charge, which is the main reason all nine defendants have been held without bond since their arrests in March.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet responded today in a memorandum that Hutaree’s central goal, as pointed out in the indictment, was
He said the group’s suspected leader David Stone Sr., 45, of Clayton, preached the need for an uprising against the government.
Stone’s attorney William Swor, said he hadn’t yet seen the memorandum, but pointed out that he argued in court today that “all these people were doing were talking.” Defense lawyers have argued that there was no grand plan to harm any one and some of the tapes played to Roberts sound like people talking over each other in a local bar.
Waterstreet, who handled the two-day bond hearings, told Roberts that Stone talked about killing police officers and told others to gather materials for homemade bombs. He pointed out that the suspects talked about killing a police officer through a fake 911 call and then using bombs to attack others during a subsequent funeral.
Prosecutors also said that Stone talked about secret training exercises in April inside a “hostile area.” Stone had told others that anyone who stumbled upon the training and interfered should be put down with bullets or knives, Waterstreet said.
Besides Stone Sr., his wife, Tina Stone, 44, his son, Joshua M. Stone, 21 -- all of Clayton, and his stepson, David B. Stone, 19, of Adrian. Also accused are Joshua Clough, 28, of Blissfield; Michael Meeks, 40, of Manchester; Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.; Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio all face charges.
Tina Stone’s lawyer, Mike Rataj, said the government’s argument is weak.