Four accused of murder as a result of plan to take over Army base, overthrow U.S. government.
Four U.S. Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia are accused of killing a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect amilitia group planning a range of anti-government attacks, including overthrowing the government, killing the president and even poisoning Washington state’s apple crop.
Prosecutors told a judge Monday the militia group of active and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components.
They allege the group was serious enough to kill two people-former soldier Michael Roark of Everett, Washington and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep the plans secret.
One of the Fort Stewart soldiers charged in the case, Pfc. Michael Burnett, also gave testimony that backed up many of the assertions made by prosecutors.
The 26-year-old soldier pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter, illegal gang activity and other charges.
He made a deal to cooperate with prosecutors against the three other soldiers.
Prosecutors said the group called itself F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready.
Burnett said he knew the group’s leaders from serving with them at Fort Stewart.
He agreed to testify against fellow soldiers Pvt. Isaac Aguigui of Cashmere, Washington, identified by prosecutors as the militia’s founder and leader, and Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon.
All are charged by state authorities with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony.
A hearing for the three soldiers was scheduled for Thursday.