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Detroit -- A federal appeals court temporarily halted the release of nine Hutaree militia defendants today, just moments before they were scheduled to be set free.
"The order of revocation is temporarily stayed pending further review and order of the court," the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said in response to an emergency motion from federal prosecutors in Detroit.
The effect of the order is that none of the defendants will be released before Friday.
DETROIT - Defense attorneys yesterday filed arguments asking the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the emergency order that is keeping nine members of the Lenawee County-based Hutaree militia group in jail.
In paperwork filed with the appellate court, the lawyers argued that U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts thoroughly and accurately reviewed evidence against the Christian militia group.
Judge Roberts had cleared the way Wednesday for the nine to be released from jail and also had denied an appeal from the U.S. Attorneys office for a stay later that night.
But the government appealed early yesterday to the Cincinnati-based appellate court for an emergency stay to keep the nine defendants in jail. The court granted the stay shortly before noon and gave the lawyers until 5 p.m. to respond.
Detroit -- A federal judge ordered three of the nine Hutaree militia defendants released from custody today.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Judge Victoria A. Roberts of U.S. District Court ordered Tina Stone, 44, of Clayton, released to her parents, Timothy and Henrietta Kelley.
"The court is putting a lot of faith and trust in you," Roberts told the Kelleys, who, as third-party custodians, are expected to report any violations by their daughter of her terms of release.
A fourth defendant, Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, is expected to be released today, according to officials.
Earlier, the judge ordered David Stone Jr., 19, of Adrian, and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio, released to their mothers, under home confinement wearing electronic tethers.
A 4th Hutaree member released
As expected, a fourth member of the Hutaree militia group was released from custody Wednesday until trial on seditious conspiracy charges.
Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit before being released to his wife, Kelly, who will serve as his custodian. He faces similar restrictions as three other members freed Tuesday, including an electronic monitoring tether.