Michigan Militia Member Sentenced

March 30, 2005

A Michigan militia member accused of plotting to kill police has been sentenced to over 6 years in prison for federal weapons violations.

Norman David Somerville, 44, was sentenced in federal court in Grand Rapids on March 24 for possessing and distributing 13 machine guns. ATF Special Agent Valerie J. Goddard said “Somerville intended to kill Michigan State Police Officers and had the machine guns and ammunition to do so.”

Authorities allege that Somerville and other militia members were planning to kill police officers in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Michigan militia member Scott Allen Woodring in July 2003 by state police. Woodring killed a Michigan State Police officer during an armed standoff and was killed in a later encounter with police. Prosecutors claimed Somerville was going to deliberately crash a vehicle mounted with a machine gun, then fire on police officers responding to the accident.

Somerville has been behind bars since being arrested at a Home Depot in Cadillac in October 2003. During a search of Somerville’s compound at that time, agents discovered an underground bunker, thousands of rounds of ammunition, hundreds of pounds of gunpowder and manuals on guerrilla warfare and explosives.

Somerville was also fined $2,000. Two accomplices, Donald Koshmider and Jeffrey Horvath, earlier pleaded guilty on related charges.