By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND | Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:34pm EDT
(Reuters) - One of the five suspects accused of trying to blow up a highway bridge in Ohio has requested a separate trial, saying he wants to challenge his co-defendants' assertion that he was the instigator of the plot.
The defense motion filed on Monday said Douglas Wright's co-defendants told authorities after their arrest that Wright recruited them to participate in the plot, and he needs a separate trial to properly cross-examine them.
Wright and his co-defendants, Brandon Baxter, Anthony Hayne, Connor Stevens and Joshua Stafford, have all pleaded not guilty to three charges, including the use of weapons of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The men, who federal officials have said had no ties to foreign militant groups, were accused of paying an undercover FBI agent $900 for what they thought were explosives.