[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
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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