Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

NATO 3 Convicted of Mob Action Charges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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 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.

    Brian Church, 22, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 29, of Keane, N.H.; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 25, of Oakland Park, Fla., were found guilty of two counts of mob action and one count each of possessing an incendiary device to commit arson.

    The jury rejected all terrorism charges. The arson charges could carry 4-30 year prison sentences.

    The men, known as the NATO 3, were accused of plotting to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home and police stations with Molotov cocktails during the meeting of world leaders.

    The verdict was announced Friday afternoon after the jury deliberated for 7 hours and 46 minutes.

    Jurors received the case Thursday after closing arguments in which prosecutors tried to portray the trio as "cold, calculated terrorists."

    But defense lawyers said they were drunken goofs and argued they were goaded into the plot by an undercover officer who infiltrated the group. They scoff at the portrayal that the three are terrorists.

    Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez rejected the notion that prosecutors overreached.

    "I would bring those charges again tomorrow. With no apologies," Alvarez said. "We save people from being hurt. Do we have to wait for a Chicago police officer to be set on fire? I don't think so."

    A sentencing date was set for Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. Bond was revoked and no bail was set.