Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Cyber Monday SALE: Up to 54% OFF InvestingPro+ CLAIM OFFER

Trial begins for three men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan governor

Coronavirus Oct 03, 2022 10:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks about the Ford all-electric F-150 Lightning truck at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - A state trial was set to start on Monday for three men accused of taking part in an elaborate plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 over her COVID-19 restrictions, with the hopes of starting a civil war.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin in a Jackson County courtroom where Joseph Morrison, 28, his father-in-law Pete Musico, 44, and Paul Bellar, 23, are charged with firearm violations, gang membership and providing material support for terrorism. They could face 20 years in prison if they are convicted.

The three are among 13 men who were arrested in October 2020 and charged with state or federal crimes in the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Prosecutors say the plot was motivated by opposition to state coronavirus restrictions imposed by the governor and grievances related to the 2020 presidential election.

Attorneys for the men were not immediately available for comment.

Prosecutors said the men were members of the Wolverine Watchmen, a militia group that planned to break into Whitmer's vacation home, kidnap her and take her away at gunpoint to stand trial on treason charges. They hoped that the abduction would lead to a violent uprising and instigate a civil war, prosecutors said.

Authorities in an affidavit said that Morrison and Musico hosted tactical training sessions on their property in remote Michigan while Bellar provided plans for tactical maneuvers, coded language for covert communication and ammunition.

The trial against Morrison, Musico and Bellar comes five weeks after a federal jury in Grand Rapids convicted Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. of conspiracy in the plot. Two other defendants were found not guilty in the first federal trial.

Two weeks ago, a federal judge reduced the sentence of a man who pleaded guilty to participating in the plot after his testimony helped convict Fox and Croft. Ty Garbin, 26, was resentenced to 30 months in prison, less than half of the 75 months he was given in August 2021.

Trial begins for three men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan governor
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
gab nea
gab nea Oct 06, 2022 7:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
who was this gang working for? who coordinated with them? who gave them their orders? on their own? not that smart!
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email