David Guy McKay pleaded guilty this morning – again.
The Austin, Texas–based activist acknowledged producing eight Molotov cocktails and conspiring to violently disrupt the Republican National Convention in September.
For another RNC-related story, see
RNC Eight informant faces criminal charges
McKay initially attempted to plead guilty to the three felony counts Monday, but his admission of guilt was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis. The reason? McKay continued to insist that a government informant, Brandon Darby, was partly responsible for producing the incendiary devices.
McKay had initially pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. A trial last month ended in a hung jury. But prosecutors had since come up with additional evidence, including a phone conversation between McKay and his father in which he acknowledged that the Molotov cocktails were produced without assistance from Darby.
This morning, under direct questioning from Davis, McKay repeatedly acknowledged criminal wrongdoing.
“Just so I’m clear, you did not come to Minneapolis-St. Paul to peacefully demonstrate?” Davis asked at one point.
“No sir,” McKay responded.
“Are you making any claim that you’re innocent?” Davis queried at another point.
“No, I am not,” the defendant acknowledged.
The use of informants to infiltrate activist groups planning to engage in civil disobedience during the RNC has proven problematic in obtaining prosecutions. In an unrelated case, an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation was recently arrested and charged with five criminal counts, including burglary and assault.
Davis ordered a pre-sentence investigation, but no date has been set for McKay’s sentencing. His longtime friend and fellow activist, Bradley Neal Crowder, pleaded guilty in January to illegally possessing the Molotov cocktails.
After accepting McKay’s guilty plea, Davis ruled that he was to begin serving time immediately. The defendant removed his suit jacket, necktie and belt and was taken into custody.