Freedom Discussions

Judge OKs release of [4] Hutaree members

by Ben Schmitt, DetroitFreePress

4:24 p.m. | Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, confirmed that a fourth Hutaree member, Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, will be released from federal custody on Wednesday. Sickles will appear in U.S. District Court in Detroit for a short hearing before being freed on similar restrictions that include an electronic monitoring tether.

Bond condition: Name other Hutaree members

3:50 p.m. | As part of the bond conditions for the freed Hutaree members, prosecutors agreed to turn over a list to defense lawyers of all known and suspected Hutaree members, who were not arrested during the March raid. The purpose is to provide the newly freed members with names of people that they cannot communicate with.

Tina Stone cannot use a computer or the Internet as part of her bond conditions. All three freed suspects are also prohibited from using police scanners.

Tina Stone is released to the custody of her parents, Timothy and Henrietta Kelley.

David Stone Jr. is released to his mother, Donna Popejoy.

Jacob Ward is released to his mother, Nadine Bober.

All three suspects are required to wear electronic tethers.
4th member could be released Wednesday

3:12 p.m. | Tina Stone’s attorney, Mike Rataj, said his client is ecstatic to be released and they look forward to contesting the charges against her.

Rataj also told reporters that a fourth Hutaree member, Kristopher Sickles, will be released Wednesday on a similar motion by the government.
3rd Hutaree member wins release

2:54 p.m. | U.S. District Judge Victoria Robert consented to the release of Hutaree member Tina Stone from federal custody today as she awaits trial.

Stone is being released to the custody of her parents, Timothy and Henrietta Kelley.

Meanwhile, the two other suspects, Jacob Ward and David Stone Jr., are still being fitted for tethers and have not yet left the courthouse.

A Free Press reporter rode an elevator with them, but they declined to comment.
Judge agrees to let two of the three go

1:20 p.m. | U.S. District Judge Victoria Robert has consented to free Hutaree members David Stone Jr. and Jacob Ward. The third member, Tina Stones, will appear before Roberts at 2:30 p.m. and is expected to be freed.

Stone Jr. and Ward are being processed and could walk out of the courthouse within an hour.
Prosecutors drop their opposition to detain three of nine

Federal prosecutors have withdrawn their opposition to detain three of the nine members of the Hutaree militia group.

Federal court spokesman Rod Hansen said a judge will hold a 12:30 p.m. hearing today to execute the release of Jacob Ward, Tina Stone and David Stone Jr., who is the son of alleged Hutaree leader David Stone.

The hearing will be before U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts.

A legal battle is still pending before a federal appellate court on whether the other six members can be freed before trial.

The nine members were arrested in FBI raids in late March on charges of plotting the violent overthrow of the U.S. government and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.

Roberts reviewed the evidence against the members and concluded they were neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk and could be freed with more than two dozen bond restrictions, including house arrest, electronic monitoring and curfews. She ordered their release two weeks ago but an appellate fight immediately ensued and they have remained locked up.