Day 3 ends with no verdict in Governor Whitmer’s kidnapping plot

Grand Rapids, Michigan. – The third day of deliberations ended Wednesday without a verdict in a trial centered on a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker urged jurors to keep their thoughts on the case private while away from the courthouse.

“We are obviously at a delicate moment,” he said. “You are in the middle of the deliberations. You now know a lot more about the case than you expected to know and a lot more about each other’s views than you expected to know.

Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta are charged with kidnapping conspiracy. Three of them also face additional charges, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, namely an explosive.

The trial has lasted 18 days since March 8, including 13 days of testimony.

Prosecutors said the plot against Whitmer was fueled by anti-government extremism and anger over its COVID-19 restrictions. The men trained with a crudely constructed ‘shooting house’ to replicate his vacation home in September 2020, according to accounts.

Fox and Croft traveled to Elk Rapids, Michigan the same weekend to view the location of the Governor’s Lake property and a nearby bridge, according to evidence. Harris and Caserta were described as “soldiers” in the diagram.

Another man, Ty Garbin, who pleaded guilty, said the goal was to get Whitmer before the fall election and create enough chaos to create a civil war and prevent Joe Biden from winning the presidency.

Defense attorneys attacked the government investigation and the use of a key informant, Dan Chappel. They claimed that Chappel was the real leader, taking over the FBI and keeping the group nervous while recording them for months.

Croft is from Bear, Delaware, while the others are from Michigan.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer attends an event with President Joe Biden in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Washington.

Whitmer, a Democrat, rarely speaks publicly about the plot, although she did refer to “surprises” during her tenure that appeared to be “something out of fiction” when she sought re-election on March 17.

She blamed former President Donald Trump for fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists like those charged in the case.

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