Prosecutors Seek 14-Year Sentence For NATO 3

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    Cook County prosecutors are seeking 14-year prison sentences for the three out-of-town protesters known as the NATO 3, according to a 48-page prosecution memo.

    Jared Chase, 29, Brent Betterly, 26, and Brian Church, 22, are expected to be sentenced by Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

    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)

    “A sentence of 14 years is fair and just in light of the facts of the case,” prosecutors wrote in the memo.

    The men face between four and 30 years in prison.

    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)

    The three men were the first in Chicago to be charged as terrorists under a state law that was created after the 9/11 attacks.

    But a jury acquitted the men of terrorism-related charges that some critics dubbed overzealous and a political stunt to scare protesters in the wake of the international NATO summit.

    The three were convicted of two counts of misdemeanor mob action and two counts of possession of an incendiary device to commit arson for building Molotov cocktails under the watch of two undercover Chicago Police officers.

    State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was criticized for overcharging the men during the 201 summit here.

    But Alvarez defended her office’s response.

    “We saved people from being hurt, OK? Do we have to wait for a Chicago Police officer to be set on fire? I don’t think so. Do we have to wait for that neighborhood bank to go up in flames? I don’t think so. You know what? My job is public safety and that’s exactly what we did. Have we forgotten about Boston? Have we forgotten about homemade bombs in backpacks?” the top prosecutor said following the verdict.