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Judge denies motions to toss cases against suspects charged with trying to kidnap governor

Whitmer kidnapping plot trial day 4.jpeg
Posted at 12:06 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 17:44:52-04

(WXYZ) — A flurry of activity happened Wednesday in the trial in the plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The prosecution rested, and all four defense attorneys moved to have the cases against their clients tossed out by the judge based on a lack of evidence. The judge denied the motions.

During a conference without the jury in the courtroom, the defense attorneys said their clients may take the stand, but those decisions are not complete.

Brandon Caserta of Canton Township, Daniel Harris of Lake Orion, Adam Fox of Grand Rapids and Barry Croft of Delaware face up to life in prison if convicted of conspiracy to kidnap the Governor.

Harris, Fox, and Croft also face an additional charge of use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The evidence presented during 13 days of the trial includes testimony from Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks that they participated in the conspiracy. Both took plea deals in the case.

The other evidence includes undercover recordings, videos, online chats and testimony from an informant known as “Big Dan” and two FBI Agents known as “Mark” and “Red”.

Judge Robert Jonker denied the motions to drop the charges saying from the bench with the jury out of the courtroom:

- There was a common understanding or objective.   
- There can be tactical disagreements or holes in the plan.  
- The jury can consider all of those things.   
- There’s sufficient evidence on all the charge against all the defendants to carry the case forward.  
- The essence of conspiracy is not a completion of the entire act itself.  But simply a mutual understanding or agreement amongst the alleged co-conspirators.  And then a forward step by at least one of them.  And that’s all.