NATO 3 Sentenced to 5 to 8 Years, Receive Credit for Time Served

Today in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the NATO 3 were sentenced to between 5 and 8 years in prison. Brian Jacob Church was sentenced to 5 years, Brent Betterly to 6 years, and Jared Chase to 8 years. They will all serve this time at 50% of the sentenced time (e.g., 6 year sentence equals 3 years served) and will receive credit for the two years they have served pending trial. Upon release, they will each have two years of supervised release as well. Continue reading

NATO 3 Not Guilty of Terrorism! Convicted of Possession of Incendiary Device Charges and Facing 30 Years

On Friday, February 7, 2014, the jury in the NATO 3 trial returned its verdicts against Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, and Brian Jacob Church. These three had been held in Cook County Jail in Chicago since they were arrested on May 16, 2012. They faced trumped up, politically motivated terrorism, conspiracy, and arson charges because of their perceived politics and political activities (mostly through the Occupy movement). Continue reading

NATO 3 Trial Concludes, Jury Begins Deliberating Our Comrades’ Fates.

The closing arguments in the NATO 3 trial concluded today and the jury began deliberations to determine whether each of them will be convicted or acquitted on each of the seven charges they are facing. The jury was released for the evening at about 11pm and are scheduled to return at 9am tomorrow to continue deliberations. They must keep deliberating until they reach a verdict. Continue reading

NATO 3: Jury Instructions Finalized, Closing Arguments Set to Begin.

The jury instructions for the charges against the NATO 3—Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Jacob Church—were finalized in court at the end of yesterday’s proceedings and throughout the day today. Additionally, the defense argued a motion to strike portions of undercover cop Mehmet Uygun’s testimony as being improper. The judge denied this motion, which concluded arguments over the final issue before closing arguments tomorrow morning at 10am (court will be in session starting at 9:30am, so all spectators must be seated by 9:15am). Continue reading

NATO 3: Recordings Reveal Undercover Cop “Mo” Helped Build Molotovs, Directed Defendants.

Today in the trial of the NATO 3—Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Jacob Church—undercover Chicago cop Mehmet Uygun (aka “Mo”) continued his testimony and began cross-examination by the defense attorneys. A few audio recordings from the undercovers’ wires were also played as Uygun gave more testimony. These recordings largely showed that Uygun, like his partner Nadia Chikko (aka “Gloves”), had instigated discussions of Molotovs and other explosives, sought materials for making Molotovs, and directed some of the defendants in constructing them on May 16, 2012. Uygun will continue being cross-examined tomorrow and closing arguments in the case could begin as early as Wednesday of this week. Trial resumes tomorrow morning at 10am (everyone must be seated by 9:45am). Continue reading

NATO 3: Undercover Cop “Mo” Begins Testimony Amidst Repeated Defense Objections.

Yesterday, undercover Chicago cop Mehmet Uygun, aka “Mo” or “Turk,” took the stand in the trial against the NATO 3: Brent Betterly, Jared Chase and Brian Jacob Church. “Mo” is expected to be the state’s final witness in the conspiracy and terrorism case. The state began their case with the other undercover cop, Nadia Chikko (aka “Gloves”). Chikko’s testimony was so weak and full of holes that we expected the prosecutors to be desperately trying to salvage their case through Uygun’s testimony. Our predictions proved to be true. Continue reading

NATO 3: Defense Attorney Calls State’s Attempt at Getting Some Evidence in “Desperate,” Facebook and Other Electronic Records Submitted Over Defense Objections

Trial today consisted of a long series of tedious evidence submission processes. The defense objected to many of the state’s attempts to submit evidence collected from computers seized during the raid when Brian Jacob Church and Jared Chase were arrested, but most were overruled. The defense did win some of their arguments, though, preventing some evidence from getting in and ensuring other important pieces of evidence got in over the state’s objections. Undercover Chicago cop Mehmet Uygun, aka “Mo” or “Turk,” was expected to take the stand but did not because the proceedings today drug out for so long. He will take the stand at 10am on Thursday. Continue reading