A federal magistrate judge today locked up eight members of a Lenawee County militia group pending trial on charges that they conspired to overthrow the U.S. government.
â€œIt is difficult to underestimate the dangers inherent in the crimes charged in this case,â€ Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer said from his bench in the U.S. District courthouse in Detroit in ordering the seven men and one woman to remain in jail for what their lawyers said could be a two-year wait until trial.
The lawyers, who immediately appealed Scheerâ€™s decision to U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts, said the defendants pose no risk to the public and are not a flight risk to avoid trial. The lawyers said Roberts likely would hear the appeal next week.
But Scheer said they did pose a risk, adding he could find no combination of bond restrictions that would guarantee that they would appear for trial and not pose a risk to the community.
The defendants are: David Stone Sr., 45; his wife, Tina Stone, 44, and his son, Joshua Stone, all of Clayton; Stoneâ€™s other son, David Stone Jr., 19 of Adrian; Joshua Clough, 28 of Blissfield; Michael Meeks, 40, of Manchester; Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, and Jacob Ward, 33 of Huron, Ohio. A ninth defendant, Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind., was arrested there and is awaiting transfer to Michigan for trial.