Ohio man cleared in Michigan Hutaree militia case

Jacob Ward didn't participate in recent trial because of his mental health, case dismissed Monday by federal Judge Victoria Roberts

Published On: May 01 2012 03:52:28 PM EDT
DETROIT -

At the request of prosecutors, a judge has dismissed charges against an Ohio man who was among members of a southern Michigan militia accused of conspiring to attack the government.

Jacob Ward of Huron, Ohio, didn't participate in the recent trial because of his mental health. The pending case against him was dismissed Monday because Detroit federal Judge Victoria Roberts already has said the government didn't have enough evidence to prove conspiracy charges against other Hutaree members.

Seven people were acquitted of the most serious charges in March. They included militia leader David Stone, who subsequently pleaded guilty to a gun charge and awaits his sentence. His son Joshua Stone and co-defendant Joshua Clough (CLUF), made similar guilty pleas. 

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."

Accusations that were against them:

During a series of raids in late March, authorities arrested nine members of the southern Michigan group. The government claimed 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 shoed 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.