Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Michigan governor kidnap plot jury ends 2nd day of deliberations

World Apr 05, 2022 05:50PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) speaks during an event with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (not pictured) at the Beech Woods Recreation Center in Southfield, Michigan, U.S. , October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/F

(Reuters) - A federal jury ended a second day of deliberations on Tuesday in the trial of four men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, weighing whether they are guilty of domestic terrorism or victims of entrapment and prosecutorial overreach.

In closing arguments on Friday, a government prosecutor described the defendants as "paranoid" and bent on sparking a civil war by abducting Whitmer and holding her accountable for placing restrictions on social and business activities due to COVID-19.

Defense attorneys said their clients were coerced into discussing the plot by FBI informants and never made concrete plans on their own.

The case has cast a spotlight on two of the militant right-wing organizations that have emerged in the years since former President Donald Trump's election in 2016. It also highlights the extent to which the pandemic and government efforts to control it have become a wedge issue in U.S. politics, pushing some people to extremes.

All four of the defendants - Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta, Barry Croft Jr. and Daniel Harris - have been charged with kidnapping conspiracy. Fox, Croft and Harris were also charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

If convicted the men could spend the rest of their lives in prison.

On Monday, the 12-person jury ended the first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

At about 3 p.m., jurors asked U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker, "What's a weapon?" - an apparent reference to the weapon of mass destruction charge.

Jonker answered that a weapon is anything that can be used to "destroy, injure or kill someone or something, as opposed to something you would use for fun," the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported.

Fox allegedly ordered $4,000 worth of explosives from an undercover FBI agent posing as a co-conspirator, according to the indictment. The document also accused Fox and Harris of making payments for the explosives.

Two other men who were initially charged - Ty Garbin and Kalen Franks - struck plea deals and served as star witnesses for the prosecution during the trial. Garbin is currently serving a six-year sentence, while Franks awaits sentencing.

The four men on trial, plus Garbin and Franks, are among 13 who were arrested in October 2020 and charged with state or federal crimes in the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Seven of them are facing charges in state court.

The FBI said it had begun tracking the group's movements after seeing online discussions that included posts about the violent overthrow of some state governments. The group's goal was to end curbs on social and business activities imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prosecutors have also accused them of wanting to start a second American civil war, while defense attorneys have said their clients were often high on drugs and prone in "crazy" talk rather than concrete action.

Harris, Caserta and an undercover informant who testified at the trial were members of the Wolverine Watchmen, a militia group, prosecutors say. Croft and Fox were members of the "Three Percenters," a similar far-right organization.

Michigan governor kidnap plot jury ends 2nd day of deliberations

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’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
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.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
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'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
Sign up with Email