Trial date set for Hawaii couple accused of acting as Russian spies

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Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 11:38 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:08 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The federal trial for a Hawaii couple accused of assuming the identities of dead babies from Texas and acting as a Russian spies is set for Sept. 26.

In a telephonic hearing Tuesday, both Walter Primrose and Gwynn Morrison pleaded “not guilty” to the charges of identity theft, conspiracy to commit crimes against the U.S., and lying on a passport application.

Both are being held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu without bond.

Primrose did not deny his identity during the hearing.

But his wife did several times, saying “that’s what they’re calling me” when the government identified her as Gwynn Darle Morrison. Authorities say she lived for 30 years as Julie Lyn Montague.

The government accuses the couple of stealing the identities of dead babies decades ago.

Primrose was able to join the Coast Guard and work for more than 20 years under the alleged false identity before retiring and getting hired as a contractor for the Department of Defense.

Federal prosecutors told the court during Tuesday’s hearing that the FBI showed a picture of Montague’s driver’s license to her sister, who identified her as Morrison and said the birthdate was incorrect.

It is part of the evidence the government claims they have against the couple.

Morrison’s court-appointed attorney Megan Kau said she has not received any discovery in the case, meaning the government has not yet handed over any of their evidence.

Kau told the judge that Morrison is not dangerous and has no criminal record under any of the identities.

The government previously said the couple was recorded in the FBI building after their arrest making statements consistent with espionage.

To that, Kau explained that Primrose told Morrison, “They think we’re spies.”

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