David Stone, left, and son Joshua received two years' supervised release Wednesday by a federal judge in Detroit.
DETROIT -- The government's investigation into the Lenawee County-based Hutaree ended Wednesday with the militia group's leader, David Stone, and his son, Joshua Stone, walking out of a federal courtroom on two years' supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts tossed aside prosecutors' requests that the Stones receive additional jail time on weapons convictions, and instead gave the former Clayton, Mich., men credit for the two years they spent in jail while waiting to go on trial for seditious conspiracy.
"I had faith in God. I give all glory and honor to Jesus Christ," Mr. Stone, 48, said as he left the courtroom.
The Stones and the elder Stone's wife, Tina Stone, and four others were cleared of conspiring to rebel against the government and other charges in March when Judge Roberts said prosecutors failed to present evidence of a specific plan to go to war against law enforcement and federal authorities.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheldon Light, who was the lead prosecutor in the six-week trial, asked Judge Roberts to give the elder Stone additional time behind bars for his conviction for possessing illegal guns, including a machine gun and short-barrel rifle.
Mr. Light said when combined with his role of Hutaree leader and discussions he had with members about killing police officers and their families, the guns under his control were a "disaster waiting to happen."
Mr. Stone's attorney, William Swor, argued that his client already had been thoroughly punished during the two years he spent in jail and any additional time would serve no purpose. Mr. Stone and his wife have been living with her parents in North Adams, Mich., because their home on Tomer Road was pillaged and vandalized after it was raided by authorities in March, 2010.
"How many times does the government want him to start over again?" Mr. Swor asked. "There is no reason to reincarcerate him."
Mr. Stone told Judge Roberts he was talked into buying the guns but never used them. He went on to tell her that during the two years he was in prison he wasn't permitted to see his wife, children, and grandchildren.
"I trust you. I just ask for your mercy," he said.
Judge Roberts said that Mr. Stone had been sufficiently punished and additional jail time "would not make sense."
Joshua Stone, 24, was sentenced separately for possessing an illegal machine gun. He told the judge he obtained the equivalency of his high school diploma since his release in March. Sentencing guidelines called for up to 27 months in prison.
Attorney James Thomas argued Joshua Stone was taking online classes through Jackson Community College in hopes of getting a job. "I think he is going to be a better person for this," he said.
In sentencing him to time served, Judge Roberts noted the gravity of the weapons convictions and said any future involvement with guns could result in him returning to prison.
Judge Roberts also imposed a sentence of time served on Joshua Clough, who pleaded guilty to a weapons charge. Of the nine people arrested in March, 2010, Mr. Clough, 31, of Ogden Township was the only Hutaree member to enter a plea before the trial.
After the Stones and the others were acquitted, Mr. Clough was allowed to scratch a prior deal and plead guilty to a lesser crime.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-724-6199.
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