Overturning the ruling of a lower court, a federal appeals court Tuesday ruled that five members of the Hutaree militia, who are accused of plotting to kill police, are a potential danger to the community and cannot be released on bail pending trial.
In May, a U.S District Court judge in Michigan ruled that the Hutaree members were not a flight risk and did not present a threat to the community.
But a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the militia members, including Hutaree leader David Stone, found the government’s case more compelling. “[W]e find that each defendant poses a danger to the community and that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community,” says the ruling, which you can read in full below.
The judges wrote of Stone:
“The evidence proffered at the detention hearing tended to show that David Stone conducted a number of trainings that involved explosives and trip-wire devices. He knows how to construct them and was at least interested in learning about their construction and use before the federal agent intervened. He had a hit list of government employees, an extensive arsenal of weapons in his home, and a number of items used in the construction of explosive devices were found in his home. He made repeated threats against federal and judicial employees and was involved in planning a “real op” in which he planned to kill law enforcement officers and civilians. Thus, this factor weighs in favor of finding that David Stone would pose a serious danger to the community if released. Viewing all of the factors together, we conclude that, as to David Stone, Sr., no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community.”