Stone Family Wedding Was Held in Full Hutaree Military Garb

Photo: Who Are The Stones? Family Indicted in Plot to Kill Cops: Youngest Stone Son Got Married in Military Garb

The bride wore white, but the groom -- and all of his family, including the tyke who was the ring bearer -- wore camouflage combat uniforms of a Christian militia group.

"I was really surprised. It just seemed so inappropriate," Donna Spurgeon told"She was a beautiful bride and had a beautiful white dress and it seemed really odd" next to the military uniforms.

Spurgeon was referring to the March 13 wedding of Josh Stone, the last of the Christian extremist group Hutaree to be arrested in an alleged plot to kill police officers. Nine members of the Hutaree militia have been arrested.

VIDEO: Nine members of the Hutaree are indicted by a federal grand jury.

At the center of the nine Hutaree militia are Josh Stone, his parents and his brother.

Those who have met the Stone family describe its members as socially awkward, a trait that Spurgeon said she witnessed at the youngest Stone's wedding.

Photographs were posted on a Facebook page that belongs to Karen Belcher. Belcher is a friend of the bride, Shannon Witt, and was asked to photograph the wedding. She said that most of the men at the ceremony were in full military fatigues.

Even a young ring bearer, who appears to be no more than 6 years old, was wearing the uniform.

"I knew [the Stones] were different, I just didn't know how different," said Belcher. "That was my first meeting."

Belcher said that Witt's family did not approve of the wedding, because they did not "like" the Stone family. Only Witt's mother, aunt and sister attended, according to Belcher.

"I think Shannon was pretty much brainwashed. She had no clue of what all what went on," said Belcher. "She's pretty innocent, naive. It was a shock to her like it was to the rest of us."

Belcher said the Stone family members were all very nice to her at the wedding, but that she did not have any lengthy conversations with any of them.

Spurgeon, whose husband is the pastor of theThornhill Baptist Church, said the Stones preferred that a "chaplain from their group" officiate at the wedding.

She said that about 40 people attended the wedding and reception, and that at least 15 were wearing military uniforms.

"I was surprised," said Spurgeon of the whole ordeal. "But the bride looked very happy."

Members of Hutaree Were Home Schooled

The Stone family attended the Thornhill Baptist Church "about once every three months," according to Spurgeon, but were always polite and well behaved when they did show up. Spurgeon said that her church did not condone anything the Stone's are said to believe in. "That's not the teaching that they got at our church," Spurgeon said.

Josh Stone and David Stone Jr. were both home schooled and seemed to lack friends their own age, according to Spurgeon.

"They needed to be exposed to kids their own age," she said. "But they were not wild children at all. They were very polite, very respectful and very kind."

The parents, David Stone Sr. and his wife, Tina, were always very polite, although he always seemed like he had drank too much coffee," said Spurgeon.

"David just always seemed really hyper, like, calm down," said Spurgeon.

Despite their personalities and the military garb, Spurgeon said she never suspected anything out of the ordinary. She figured that the men in the family, like many in the rural town of Clayton, Mich., just enjoyed hunting.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The probable path of Hurricane Fred is seen in a graphic released by the NWS National Hurricane Center, Aug. 31, 2015.
NWS National Hurricane Center
PHOTO: Kanye West accepts the Vanguard Award onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Christopher Polk/MTV1415/Getty Images
PHOTO: Director Wes Craven attends the screening of Life Itself at the ArcLight Cinemas, June 26, 2014, in Hollywood, Calif.
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images