WASHINGTON - While the parents of Rochester native Evan Liberty ate lunch at the federal courthouse where their son was resentenced on Thursday they were visited by a former Blackwater guard who had a very special envelope for them.
Ryan Hanes, a former serviceman who worked with Blackwater in Iraq between 2006-10, brought them a check for $2,400 raised by the sale of bracelets he'd made memorializing the struggle for justice for the Raven 23 guards.
"We've started a nonprofit to help with their defense," said Hanes.
There is also a Blackwater Memorial Alumni Association dedicated to fund-raising for Liberty and three others imprisoned in the so-called 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Iraq in which 17 Iraqis were killed.
Hanes said he helped to make the bracelets, stamping out $144 worth of tin that helped produce the $2,400 check he was able to give Debra Liberty.
Hanes called the trials of Liberty and three other Blackwater guards accused in the shootings "all politics" and a "mockery of justice."
"How about the 43 Blackwater guards who were killed in Iraq," he said. "Where's their justice?"
Haney did not speak during the resentencing on Thursday, but said he spoke on behalf of the four at their initial sentencing in April 2015.
For more info on various fund-raising activities search Facebook for Free Raven 23.