Christopher J. Brooks, 27, on Wednesday was sentenced to three years in prison on a conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. At the time of his arrest, Brooks was on probation for a criminal mischief conviction for vandalism to a synagogue in Virginia.
According to a plea agreement, charges of participating in paramilitary training and conspiracy to shoot at or into a building were dropped by the state.
He was among a group of 14 people — including several with ties to Brevard County — who were charged earlier this year with paramilitary training and other crimes after a domestic terrorism investigation that used an FBI informant. According to case documents, the group trained with AK-47s and other weapons at alleged ringleader Marcus Faella’s home outside St. Cloud.
They planned to counter-protest a May Day rally in Melbourne and planned a disturbance at Orlando City Hall, according to documents.
Faella faces up to a life term in prison if convicted. He and others in the case face trial later this year.
Brooks’ mother, Patty Kenny of Palm Bay, said despite the plea agreement, she is talking to an attorney about getting her son’s sentence reduced and charges against other members of the group dropped.
“I don’t think any of them did anything wrong,” she said.
Watching her son be sentenced Wednesday was so upsetting Kenny said she lost control, had to leave and was issued a no-trespassing order for at the Osceola courthouse. She said she was unhappy with her son’s defense attorney and the plea was just another step in a stressful process.
“I have not felt good ever since,” his arrest, Kenny said. “My head always hurts, it’s been horrible.”