Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

NATO 3 Trial Continues Wednesday

Brent Betterly, Brian Church, and Jared Chase have pleaded not guilty to all charges

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014  |  Updated 10:11 AM CDT
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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.

NATO Protesters Plead Not Guilty to Terrorism Charges

Defense attorneys say charges against men arrested during NATO Summit are trumped up and "ridiculous." Phil Rogers reports.
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A major test case for Illinois' state terrorism laws continues Wednesday in the trial against Brent Betterly, Brian Church, and Jared Chase, three men who were arrested on the eve of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.

The trial against the tree began Tuesday, with prosecutors portraying them as terrorists who sought help finding local landmarks to commit their acts. Police intelligence officers infiltrated their group and reportedly found four molotov cocktails.

But their defense attorneys said the men balked at the idea their clients could be compared to bona fide terrorists.

"If they are terrorists, we can all sleep at night," said Thomas Durkin, Chase's lawyer. "Do you know any terrorist who marches in parades?" Later, he called the young men "three goofs."

Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Chase, 29, of Keene, N.H.; and Betterly, 25, of Oakland Park, Fla.,
have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit terrorism and other charges.

All three defendants have been held in jail since their arrests, unable to raise $1.5 million in bail. If convicted, each could be sentenced to decades in prison.

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