Thursday, December 13, 2007

`Sears' Home-Grown Terrorism Case Ends In A Mistrial


A mistrial was declared in the 'Homegrown Terrorists' case as a Federal jury deadlocked. Six of the seven defendents will be retried, while one, Lyglenson Lemorin, was cleared of all charges.

Lemorin remains in custody as he apparently has some pending immigration charges:

U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard declared a mistrial regarding the counts against the other men, dealing a setback to prosecutors in a case that had been cited by Justice Department leaders as a reminder of the threat posed by "homegrown terrorists."

The jury had deliberated for nine days.

"It was evenly split on a lot of counts," said jury foreman Jeff Agron, 46, an educator at a local synagogue. "You wish you could reach a decision, but it is what it is."

At trial, prosecutors presented FBI recordings that included video of the seven men swearing allegiance to al-Qaeda. In one recorded conversation, the group's leader proposed knocking down the Sears Tower. As he described it, the tower would topple and cause a disastrous tidal wave in Lake Michigan.

The case against the men had been orchestrated by two confidential informants working with the FBI. One of them posed as an al-Qaeda organizer and led the men in the al- Qaeda oath.

Taking the stand on his own behalf, the group's leader, Narseal Batiste, testified that he had never wanted to blow up the Sears Tower and that he had only described the outlandish Sears Tower plan to the undercover informant in hopes of gaining as much as $50,000 in support.

Batiste, 33, and the other defendants whose fate the jury could not decide -- Patrick Abraham, 28; Stanley Phanor, 32; Burson Augustin, 22; Rothschild Augustin, 24; and Naudimar Herrera, 23 -- could have faced up to 70 years in prison if convicted on four terrorism-related conspiracy charges.

A new trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 7.

1 comment:

louielouie said...

prosecutors presented FBI recordings that included video of the seven men swearing allegiance to al-Qaeda.

to myself, the evidence appears damning.

that he had only described the outlandish Sears Tower plan to the undercover informant in hopes of gaining as much as $50,000 in support.

not being at the trial, but just reading the above, makes me wonder what you are going to support on that $50K sunshine?