Jury deliberates a full fourth day in trial of alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer

Posted at 5:25 AM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 17:23:30-04

(WXYZ) — The jury in the Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot trial deliberated through a full fourth day. That means 32 hours of deliberations and no verdict.

Day 5 is tomorrow. We don’t know if they are close to a verdict or deadlocked.

We know defense attorneys left court this morning and are playing the waiting game like everyone else, and doing what many people are, watching Tiger Woods play the Masters on television.

They won’t speculate on the jury, but everybody else is.

"I mean, the longer they stay out, the more likely they are either to have a split verdict or really a hung jury," said Anjali Prasad, former federal prosecutor.

Defense attorneys are playing the waiting game, walking around downtown Grand Rapids, stretching their legs. They are on call with the court if the jury sends a note to the judge.

The judge started everyone’s day this morning at 8:28 a.m., telling the jury, "wish you all the best in your continuing work."

Tomorrow is Friday, does that mean anything?

"You ask me if this is going to go into the weekend? No! Enough is enough. They can't decide and they're sitting back there saying, 'I can't decide, I want to go home. Better luck next time government,'" said Prasad.

Only 7 Action News cameras are rolling exactly a year and a half ago when the feds raided the home of Ty Garbin in Hartland.

A neighbor also recorded the raid and Garbin’s arrest.

It was one of several pulled off by the feds and the state in this massive case, a total of 14 would be charged.

Garbin and Kaleb Franks both pleaded guilty in this federal case, testified they were part of the plot to kidnap the governor over her COVID lockdowns.

Four men in this trial are facing up to life in prison if convicted. They are Daniel Harris of Lake Orion, Brandon Caserta of Canton Township, Adam Fox of Grand Rapids, and Barry Croft of Delaware. The government has to show these four defendants actually intended to follow through.

Michael Bullotta was a Detroit federal prosecutor a decade ago in the criminal case against former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. That jury found guilty on some charges but was deadlocked on others.

The public was not told until months later.

"So, a judge can take a partial verdict and seal it. And we in fact did that in the Kilpatrick trial, we took a partial verdict, we sealed it. So that can happen," he said.

The judge did say this morning there were no notes from the jury.

It would be up to him to decide if he wants to go public with a deadlocked jury, give them an additional instruction to keep talking, keep an open mind, while not influencing them either way.

That all could happen in Grand Rapids tomorrow.