Three men accused of coming to Chicago to allegedly attack local landmarks during the NATO Summit appeared in a Cook County courtroom Tuesday morning. Phil Rogers reports.
An attorney for three men brought up on terrorism charges complained that his clients were kept in isolation since their arrest last week, calling it cruel and unusual punishment.
"They have nothing to read. They have no writing material. It's a kind of a sensory deprivation for them," defense attorney Michael Deutch said after Tuesday's hearing.
Brian Church, 22 of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 27 of Miami; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24 of Oakland Park, Fla. were arrested in a raid late Wednesday night. They're charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of an explosive or incendiary device and providing material support and are each being held on $1.5 million bond.
A sheriff's department spokesman said three men had been in isolation at the hospital for observation but would be moved to the general population later Tuesday.
The attorneys further complained that they are not receiving any information about the charges their clients are facing, and suggest the city needed the case.
"I don't know how the mayor just gets carte blanche to turn this city into a police state over the weekend, because we are fearful," defense attorney Thomas Durkin said.
Defense attorneys said that what police called a bomb plot, and what the suspects said was home-brewing of beer, was pure fiction. They said it was an operation drafted in advance to justify the city's police response to the protests planned for this past weekend's NATO summit.
The three are self-proclaimed anarchists, and prosecutors said Church was the ring leader of the group.
Prosecutors said the group's plan included throwing Molotov cocktails into a police station. When police raided the apartment, prosecutors said the three were caught with Molotov cocktails and written instructions on how to make pipe bombs.
If Church, Chase and Betterly are eventually convicted, they could face between four and 30 years in prison.
Asked about it Tuesday, police Supt. Garry McCarthy called it a "super solid" case.