We’d like to file this story in the Risky Drinking file, but it just might be intentional terrorism worthy of prosecution. Three men have been charged with terrorism in Chicago under new Illinois state laws that give State-level prosecutors powers normally reserved for Federal enforcement agents.
With stakes so high, claims of mental illness and alcoholism can be convenient defense tactics. The lawyers will have to argue this one in the courts, which they started to do this week.
According to the news reports, Brian Church, all three defendants have all pled not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism. They were accused of planning to firebomb the 2012 NATO Summit Meeting in Chicago. The tools of destruction the men used to execute their attempted terrorism? Gas masks, bows, arrows, partially-filled Molatov cocktails made from beer bottles, and a throwing star.
Brian Church is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jared Chase is from Keene, New Hampshire. Brent Vincent Betterly is from Oakland Park, Florida.
A defense lawyer for Brian Church claims her client was “constantly drunk” while undercover officers prompted the men to fill beer bottles with gasoline for an attack on the Summit meeting.
Brian Church’s lawyer, Sarah Gelsomino, told the court her client is “naive and prone to wild boasts”. While the alleged plotting was going on, she said, he was “nearly constantly drunk out of his mind.”
We hope the case gets proper attention in the courts, because clearly these men didn’t get proper attention outside of the courts.
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