James B. Kelleher
Eight members of an extremist militia group accused of conspiring to kill law enforcement officers as part of a wider war on the U.S. government pleaded not guilty in federal court on Wednesday.
Attorneys for the eight sought to fight government efforts to have the defendants detained for the duration of the proceedings, a court case that one of the lawyers predicted would be “a mega-trial that will take years to unfold.”
The group’s leader, 45-year-old David Brian Stone, had planned to take over three or four rural counties in southeastern Michigan and use the toehold to ambush and kill members of U.S. law enforcement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet said.
The Christian militia group, which called itself the Hutaree, viewed the police as their enemy because they believed U.S. law enforcement officers were acting as agents of a “new world order,” Waterstreet said.