Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

NATO 3 Protesters Get 5, 6 and 8 Years in Prison

"The defendants are not the three musketeers, but they were not the three stooges," judge says

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    After denying motions for new trials or outright acquittals, a Cook County judge on Friday sentenced three NATO summit protesters to between five and eight years in prison. (Published Friday, Apr 25, 2014)

    After denying motions for new trials or outright acquittals, a Cook County judge on Friday sentenced three NATO summit protesters to between five and eight years in prison.

    Jared Chase received eight years for a possession of an incendiary device, Brian Church received five years for the same charge and Brent Betterly got six years. They each received 30 days for mob action.

    "The defendants are not the three musketeers," Judge Thaddeus Wilson said, "but they were not the three stooges."

    Known as the "NATO 3," Church, 22, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Chase, 29, of Keane, N.H.; and Vincent Betterly, 25, of Oakland Park, Fla., were accused of plotting Molotov cocktail attacks on several high-profile targets during the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.

    NATO 3 Convicted of Mob Action Charges

    [CHI] NATO 3 Convicted of Mob Action Charges
    A jury found three men accused of plotting attacks during the 2012 Chicago NATO summit guilty of misdemeanor mob action and felony arson charges, but acquitted of more serious terrorism charges. (Published Friday, Feb 7, 2014)

    "I'm not a perfect person," Church told the judge before sentencing, "and like other human beings, I've made mistakes."

    "We weren't serious about what we said," Betterly said. "They were just words. Because of those transgressions, I've lost two years of my life."

    Heading into Friday's sentencing, Cook County prosecutors wanted a 14-year prison term for Chase, Church and Betterly. They call the men dangerous and deserving of stiff punishment.

    Trial Begins For NATO 3 Suspects

    [CHI] Trial Begins For NATO 3 Suspects
    The trial begins for the three men accused of plotting terrorist attacks during the 2012 NATO Summit. Defense attorneys say prosecutors exaggerated the defendant's actions. (Published Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014)

    But Chase's attorneys call the case a "terribly politicized prosecution." They suggest the terrorism charges tainted their client as a menace even though he was acquitted of those charges.

    "No matter what they do in other countries," Judge Thaddeus Wilson said, "Americans will not stand for throwing Molotov cocktails in the street."

    Jurors in February acquitted the activists of ominous-sounding terrorism charges brought under a rarely used Illinois statute. They convicted them of lesser counts of misdemeanor mob action and possession of an incendiary device to commit arson.

    News breaks at inconvenient times.  Download one of the NBCChicago mobile apps and have the news come to you. Watch live streaming newscasts, receive critical push notifications on the go and stay in touch with your city around the clock.