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U.S. judge denies prosecutors' request to keep militia members in jail

DETROIT — U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts Wednesday night denied a request by federal prosecutors that nine members of a Lenawee County militia group remain in jail pending an appeal of her order that they be released.

In her order, Judge Roberts wrote that prosecutors “failed to persuade the court that defendants must be detained until trial.”

She wrote that prosecutors did not demonstrate “that there is irreparable injury to the government, or to the public, which outweighs the harm defendants would suffer” if they remained in jail.

“The defendants must be released,” Judge Roberts wrote. It was unclear Wednesday night when the nine would be freed.

Hours earlier, federal prosecutors met the deadline set by Judge Roberts to appeal to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati her Monday decision to release members of the Hutaree militia group.

The U.S. attorney's office followed the notice with supplemental arguments late yesterday, just minutes before a 5 p.m. deadline.

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