On Friday, three men charged with being part of a plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer were found not guilty after a two-week trial.
BREAKING The final three defendants in the Whitmer kidnapping case have all just been acquitted on all counts in Antrim County court in Michigan. Eric Molitor, Bill Null and Michael Null were found not guilty by the jury after a 2 week trial. pic.twitter.com/vrYPc9qusB
— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) September 15, 2023
In early October 2020, the FBI announced they had arrested 13 men suspected of orchestrating a plot to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow the state government. Roughly half of the group belonged to an organization called the Wolverine Watchmen. Six men were charged in federal court; the other seven were charged with state crimes. The six men charged in federal court were Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Barry Croft Jr., Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. The seven men charged with state crimes were Pete Musico, Joseph Morrison, Shawn Fix, Eric Molitor, Michael Null, William Null, and Paul Bellar.
Eric Molitor, Bill Null and Michael Null were found not guilty by the jury on Friday.
Barry Croft, Jr. was sentenced to 19 years and seven months in prison; Adam Fox was sentenced to 16 years in prison; Joseph Morrison was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison; Paul Bellar was sentenced to 7 to 20 years; Pete Musico was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months, later reduced to 2 years and 6 months; Ty Garbin was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months, later reduced to 2 years and 6 months; and Kaleb Franks was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
Harris and Caserta were found not guilty; no sentencing has been announced yet for Fix and Higgins.
Whitmer later targeted former President Trump, saying, “Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacist and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups. Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit.”
“Our head of state has spent the past 7 months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division,” Whitmer added.