GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The second day of deliberations wrapped up this afternoon with jurors weighing in on both sides of the alleged Governor Whitmer kidnap plot trial.
The jury asked for trial transcripts, but U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker denied the request saying the transcripts of testimony aren’t available yet. And, even if they were, the jury shouldn’t have them.
Royal Oak-based Criminal attorney, Michael Dezsi has tried several cases in federal court, and he says it's a common request but unusual for the jurors to ask for all of them.
"That testimony will be quite voluminous, there will be hundreds and hundreds of pages of testimony," said Michael Dezsi, Attorney, Law Office of Michael R. Dezsi.
The US Government has put on 13 days of testimony against these 4 defendants, who allegedly planned and trained for a secret mission to kidnap Michigan's governor, fueled by anger over covid restrictions 2 years ago.
The judge now wants the jurors to do their best as a group and remember what was said during the hearings, which Dezsi says are standard instructions for jurors.
"If you just read the words on paper, for instance, that may distract you from, or that may change your memory from what you heard or what you perceived was happening while the witness was testifying," said Michael Dezsi, Attorney, Law Office of Michael R. Dezsi.
Michael says this will allow the jury to take into account the actions of the witnesses during the hearing and how truthfully they answered the questions.
"One of the challenges certainly is that that trial has lasted a couple of weeks, and so their memories may not be as fresh about a witness who testified earlier in the case versus a witness who testified later in the case," said Michael Dezsi, Attorney, Law Office of Michael R. Dezsi
Based on the evidence and with over 30 testimonies, the jury has also been told by the judge to ignore media reports and focus on whether each defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta are charged with a kidnapping conspiracy. Three of them also face additional charges, to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Two other men who took plea deals: Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks testified against the four suspects during the trial.
According to Garbin, the goal was to get Governor Whitmer before the fall election and create enough chaos to create a civil war and stop Joe Biden from winning the presidency.
Meanwhile, if the case prolongs further, Michael says generally it would benefit the defense side, meaning the jury is finding it hard to reach a conviction, but in a case like this where there are multiple charges and defendants, it wouldn’t be surprising if, in the next few days, the jury reaches verdicts on some of the defendants or a particular count.
The deliberations continue.