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Home > Press Page

Thursday, January 16, 2014Members of the general public who wish to observe the upcoming People VS. Church, Chase & Betterly Criminal trial will be required to register for a seat in advance, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced today.

The trial is set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave., Chicago. The defendants are Brian Church, 22, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Jared Chase, 25, of Keene, New Hampshire; and Brent Betterly, 25, of Oakland Park, Florida. The three men were charged in the days prior to the May 2012 NATO Summit that was held in Chicago. All three defendants face the following charges: four counts possession of an incendiary device; one count providing material support for terrorism; one count conspiracy to commit terrorism; and one count solicitation to commit arson.

Seating for the general public is limited, but will be available each day court will be in session. All seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

All members of the general public interested in viewing the trial must sign up in person in the lobby of the Criminal Courthouse the day before they wish to be in court. To sign up, interested parties must register their name with a Court Deputy in the lobby of the courthouse between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. for the next day’s court session. For example, if you wish to observe the trial on a Wednesday, you must come to the courthouse on Tuesday to add your name to the list. Individuals are not allowed to register anyone other than themselves. Each spectator must present a valid, government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, a state ID, or passport.

Anyone wishing to observe the trial on a Monday is required to register the Friday before.

As this trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, and Monday, Jan. 20 is a court holiday, the first day of Spectator Registration will be on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Spectators are reminded to arrive one hour prior to the start of trial daily. This will allow ample time to pass through the main courthouse security area as well as complete the check-in process outside the trial courtroom before being seated. All spectators are required to be seated in the trial courtroom 20 minutes prior to the start of trial each day.

Spectators will not be allowed to bring cell phones, bags, packages, briefcases, purses, or boxes of any kind into the trial courtroom or wear any type of clothing with prejudicial or inflammatory logos, per the Judge’s Decorum Orders.

Anyone who causes a disruption, outburst, noise, or distraction will be immediately removed from the trial courtroom. Any violation may result in the violator being held in contempt of court and/or being subject to monetary sanctions according to Illinois civil and criminal law.

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