Judge throws out 2 charges in race war case
Jurors kept late to hear defense testimony
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – An Osceola County judge dealt a major blow to prosecutors on Thursday when he threw out two charges filed against white supremacist leader Marcus Faella.
Faella was accused of conducting paramilitary training to prepare his American Front followers for a race war in Central Florida.
Judge Jon Morgan ruled prosecutors didn't prove Faella conspired to shoot up any building, nor did he help arm a convicted felon, fellow member Christopher Brooks.
He threw out those two charges, but kept charges that accuse Faella of training American Front followers to incite a race war.
Morgan admitted he had reservations about keeping the charges intact after a paid FBI informant testified earlier on Thursday that he never saw American Front members plan any kind of violence against minority groups.
"During the two years that you were with them, did you see or plan any event that was based on someone's race?" asked defense attorney Ronald Ecker.
"Not to my recollection," informant Jason Hall said.
"Did they target anyone based on color?" asked Ecker.
"Not while I was there," Hall said.
Morgan allowed jurors to leave the courthouse for about 90 minutes Thursday evening before bringing them back for defense testimony.
He wanted all six defense witnesses called on Thursday before jurors were released for the evening.
Closing statements would take place early Friday morning with deliberations expected by Friday afternoon.
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