NATO 3 protesters Jared Chase, Brian Church, Brent Betterly sentenced in Chicago

NATO protesters Jared Chase, Brian Church and Brent Betterly, accused of plotting Molotov cocktail attacks at the 2012 summit in Chicago, were given lesser sentences than requested by prosecutors. (WLS)
April 25, 2014 3:11:50 PM PDT
NATO protesters Jared Chase, Brian Church and Brent Betterly, accused of plotting Molotov cocktail attacks at the 2012 summit in Chicago, were given lesser sentences than requested by prosecutors.

Church was sentenced to five years, Chase was sentenced to eight years and Betterly was sentenced to six years.

Earlier on Friday, a judge denied their motion for a new trial.

Jurors acquitted all three men, known as the "NATO 3," of terrorism charges in February and convicted them on lesser counts of misdemeanor mob action and possession of an incendiary device to commit arson.

"The actions of these defendants were terrorizing," said Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. "These defendants were found guilty of Class 1 felonies. They were found guilty of possession of an incendiary device with the intent to commit an arson. That's a very serious crime."

Chase, Church and Betterly faced up to 30 years in prison for mob action and being in possession of an incendiary device. Prosecutors pushed for a 14-year sentence for each man, insisting they are dangerous.

But Chase's attorneys call the case a "terribly politicized prosecution." They suggest the terrorism charges tainted their client as a menace even though he was acquitted of those charges.

"I'm embarrassed to be from Chicago for the first time in my life, where we would have prosecutors stand up and make such ignorant and nativist, as I called it - and I stand by that - parochial arguments," said Thomas Durkin, Chase's attorney.

Church and Betterly made statements in court on their own behalf during the sentencing, acknowledging that their wrongdoing was not in their best interest or the best interest of the public. They also shared some of their political opinions that motivated them to protest in Chicago.

On the suggestion of his attorney, Chase did not speak. A neurologist testified during the hearing that Chase is suffering from Huntington's disease, in which he suffers from "poor judgment."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments