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Update: Federal judge upholds order to have Vaun Mayes released pending trial

Updated: 3:56 p.m. July 6, 2018

UPDATE: MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A federal judge has upheld an order from Thursday to have Milwaukee activist Vaun Mayes released from custody pending trial.

Mayes walked out of the federal courthouse around 4:30 p.m. and left his jail shoes on the steps.

Vaun Mayes is charged with plotting to firebomb a Milwaukee Police station during the Sherman Park unrest two years ago.

The arguments made in court Friday were identical to those made Thursday. Federal prosecutors say Mayes is a danger because he is alleged to have used teens he mentors to plot the firebombing of a police station. They also argue alleged associates of Mayes attempted to intimidate a witness. The defense argues there is no evidence Mayes had anything to do with the witness intimidation and he has not been in trouble since the unrest two years ago.

A judge ordered Mayes free on bond Thursday and prosecutors lost their appeal of that ruling on Friday.

The judge issued a warning to Mayes supporters telling them to let the process play out in court and to not do anything to make it harder for Mayes to defend himself.

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Posted: 4:22 p.m. July 5, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A judge ordered community activist Vaun Mayes to be released pending his trial, a decision met with loud applause by dozens of supporters packed inside the courtroom on Thursday. 

Cameras are not allowed in federal court but an estimated 100 of Mayes' supporters were there. When Mayes was led into the courtroom in handcuffs, some supporters could be heard crying. 

The hearing was to decide if Mayes would be held in jail or released pending trial. 

The prosecutor argued Mayes is a danger to the community, alleging he used teens he mentors to plot the firebombing of a police station nearly two years ago. They also alleged associates of Mayes tried to intimidate a witness. 

Mayes' attorney pointed at the crowd of supporters showing just how important Mayes' work as an activist is. A reverend spoke on Mayes' behalf saying he's an incredible and inspiring leader and his absence created a void in the community. 

Ultimately, the judge ordered Mayes to be released. That will likely happen on Friday. Meanwhile, prosecutors expect to take the case to a grand jury by July 11 for a formal indictment. 

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