Feds defend charges in Michigan Hutaree militia case

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheldon Light conceded Monday there's no proof of a "specific plan" to attack the U.S. government

Published On: Mar 26 2012 11:17:50 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 26 2012 11:21:36 AM EDT
DETROIT -

After weeks of trial, federal prosecutors are defending the criminal case brought against seven members of a Michigan militia as a judge considers whether any charges should be dismissed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheldon Light conceded Monday there's no proof of a "specific plan" to attack the U.S. government. But he says there's much evidence in secretly recorded talks to show the Hutaree militia wanted to draw in federal law enforcement by killing local authorities.

Jurors have the day off while defense attorneys argue for acquittal. Prosecutors rested their case last week.

Judge Victoria Roberts is pressing them to explain why the charge of seditious conspiracy fits against all seven.

Who are the Hutaree:

The Hutaree are self-proclaimed "Christian warriors" who trained themselves in paramilitary techniques in preparation for what they say on their Web site is a battle against the Antichrist.

On it's website, the group says it will be "prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren't."

--David Stone Sr., a Hutaree leader

Accusations against them:

During a series of raids in late March, authorities arrested nine members of the southern Michigan group. The government claims they were scheming to kill a police officer then attack officers who attended the funeral in the first steps toward a broader rebellion.

Much of the government's evidence made public so far shows militia members talking about killing police officers and attacking officers who turn up for the funeral. No specific plot with specific targets has been disclosed. The judge did acknowledge the group had "stockpiles" of legal weapons and ammunition.

The FBI said it broke up the plot with the help of an undercover agent and informants.