A fifth defendant in the militia group case agreed to lesser charges in Liberty County court in exchange for testimony against the members accused of murder.
Blake Dearman agreed to testify against his older brother, Adam, and other accused members of the group. Four members of the group Forever Enduring Always Ready (FEAR) stand accused of murdering a former soldier, Michael Roark, and his girlfriend, Tiffany York, to protect their plot to help overthrow the federal government. Most of the group members indicted so far have been former U.S. military members. Many of them were assigned to Fort Stewart.
Blake pleaded guilty to four entering auto charges and was released Tuesday for time served. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges related to FEAR's gang /domestic terror crimes. The younger Dearman admitted the auto thefts were to steal whatever the militia could sell to raise money. He said in court he came to Liberty County specifically to raise money for Adam's bail money.
The older Dearman was arrested in their native Elbert County on charges he stole a vehicle and shot the owner when he tried to get it reclaim it. Prosecutors contended he was in North Georgia to sell a car for parts in order to raise more money for FEAR.
Prosecutors said Blake told them, at the time of Adam's arrest, Adam was trying to get back to Liberty County to hide Roark's truck after FEAR members killed the couple in a remote area in Long County.
Prosecutors have assembled five accused FEAR members or associates to testify against the group leaders accused of Roark and York's murders.
But prosecutors also told Judge Robert Russell that Blake could also testify in a case that would have military jurisdiction. Assistant District Attorney Isabel Pauley said Dearman told investigators that FEAR's founder, Isaac Aguigui, talked in front of him about killing his pregnant wife for insurance money. Both Aguigui and his wife were soldiers at the time of her death. Her death was initially ruled accidental.
Aguigui collected $500,000 in life insurance for her death. Prosecutors have alleged he used that money to buy military grade weapons for the FEAR as they plotted to seize more weapons at Fort Stewart and help other groups around the country overthrow the federal government.
Aguigui and two of the other three suspects in the Roark/York murders will face a possible death penalty if convicted.
Dearman entered his plea as a first offender. With that, almost any violation of the law could send him to prison for his full term of 80 years. However, the entering autos convictions would be erased from his record if he complies with his 15-year probation.
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-03-09 11:00:16 GMT
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