Members of the Michigan-based Hutaree (huh-TAH'ree) militia have failed to persuade a judge to recommend dismissal of a seditious conspiracy charge. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Komives said Wednesday the charge should stand during the pre-trial stage of the case.
Nine people were charged last spring with conspiracy to commit rebellion against the U.S. and other crimes. Defense attorneys have argued that no rebellion was afoot, just evidence of offensive comments about law enforcement. They say it's simply free speech.
Komives is not deciding whether the government will be able to prove its case at trial. At this stage, he says he must look at the allegations in the light most favorable to prosecutors.
His recommendation to let the indictment stand now goes to U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts.