DETROIT — A Michigan militia member facing a mandatory five years in prison on a weapons charge got a major break Wednesday when a federal judge allowed him to scratch a prior plea deal and plead guilty to a lesser crime.
The development resulted from last week's acquittal of seven members of the Hutaree militia who were charged with conspiring to use force against the U.S.
Joshua Clough was the only member to make a deal before trial, pleading guilty in December to an enhanced weapons charge that automatically meant five years in prison. He had feared an even longer punishment if he gambled with other charges and was convicted at trial.
Clough, 30, of Blissfield, pleaded guilty Wednesday to possessing a homemade machine gun and was immediately released on bond, after two years in jail. He will likely face no additional prison time when he returns to court on Aug. 8.