[Ppnews] Trial today for Texan accused of intending to bomb GOP convention

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jan 26 11:30:14 EST 2009

Trial today for Texan accused of intending to bomb GOP convention

By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune

January 26, 2009

The federal trial for accused Molotov 
cocktail-maker David Guy McKay is scheduled to 
begin this morning, and from almost any angle, it 
promises enough plot twists to keep a 
screenwriter busy. An independent filmmaker from 
California even plans to attend the trial.

McKay, 22, from Austin, Tex., has been indicted 
for aiding and abetting the manufacture and 
possession of the eight handmade explosive 
devices that prosecutors say he and Bradley 
Crowder intended to use during last summer's 
Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Crowder, also of Austin, pleaded guilty Jan. 8, 
leaving McKay, who friends say is a non-violent 
-- albeit naive -- young man, left facing 
charges. The intrigue comes from the fact that a 
good chunk of the government's case against McKay 
comes from Brandon Darby, a longtime 
activist-turned-FBI informant who allegedly 
collected audio and video evidence to be used at 
trial. Darby also is expected to testify.

Using information from Darby, law enforcement 
officers found the explosives in a St. Paul house 
not far from the Xcel Energy Center, site of the convention.

Darby's move into the role of government mole has 
elicited much debate. Was he, as he claims, an 
honest activist who evolved over the years to see 
that violence against the government is wrong? Or 
is he, as many protesters now say, a fake -- a 
provocateur who instigated actions while he was 
in the pocket of federal officials for years.

Complicating the case is Crowder's plea. It is 
not known if he will testify against McKay. When 
he entered his guilty plea, Crowder told U.S. 
Chief Judge Michael J. Davis that one man helped 
him make the explosives -- David McKay.

Officials had characterized Crowder, a member of 
the Austin Affinity Group, as the leader of the 
group's plans to protest and disrupt the 
convention. He, McKay, Darby and others drove to 
Minnesota before the start of the convention in a 
rented van hauling a trailer carrying homemade 
shields made from stolen traffic barrels. On Aug. 
31, police searched the trailer without a warrant and seized the shields.

The next day, according to an affidavit, Crowder and McKay made the explosives.

The plan, according to the FBI, was to throw the 
bombs at police cars parked not far from the Xcel 
in revenge for the seizure of the shields. Days 
later, while Crowder sat in jail on disorderly 
conduct charges, McKay allegedly told Darby that 
it would be "worth it if a cop gets burned or 
maimed," according to an affidavit by an FBI 
agent. The explosives were never used.

McKay's attorney, Jeff DeGree, and several other 
activists say they suspect that Darby helped 
plant the seed for making the Molotov cocktails.

The trial will be held before U.S. Chief Judge 
Michael J. Davis in his courtroom at the top of 
the federal courts building in downtown 
Minneapolis. Both McKay and Crowder have been in 
jail since they were arrested during the convention.

A sentencing date for Darby has not yet been set.

James Walsh • 612-673-7428

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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