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Judge orders supervised release of Coast Guard Lt. who stockpiled weapons, made hit list

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Posted at 4:45 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 16:45:33-04

GREENBELT, Md. — A federal magistrate judge has declined to immediately release a Coast Guard lieutenant while he awaits trial on charges of of stockpiling firearms and drafting a hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Day stopped short of ordering 50-year-old Christopher Hasson's immediate release after a hearing Tuesday in Greenbelt, Maryland. The magistrate is giving prosecutors time to appeal his decision to a district court judge.

"At Christopher Hasson’s detention hearing today, over the government’s objections, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day ordered Mr. Hasson to be released to third-party custodians under 24/7 home detention with GPS monitoring and a bond on three properties," said U.S. Attorney Marcy Murphy in a statement. "The government immediately appealed Judge Day’s decision to U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel, who is presiding over the case, on the basis of the danger to the community posed by the defendant. The Court has stayed Lt. Hasson’s release pending the government’s appeal. That hearing is expected to be scheduled in the next week."

Day said Hasson must be subject to 24-hour home detention at one of two Virginia homes: either his mother-in-law's rental home or a house owned by his father-in-law. The magistrate also agreed to using global positioning equipment to monitor Hasson.

Court officials in Virginia must inspect the two homes and set up the monitoring equipment before Hasson can be released.

Prosecutors have described Hasson as a domestic terrorist and racist extremist intent on carrying out a killing spree. But Day noted prosecutors haven't brought any terrorism-related charges against Hasson since his arrest in February on firearms and drug offenses.