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Jury to begin deliberations Monday in Whitmer kidnapping plot trial

Posted at 11:47 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 23:47:55-04

(WXYZ) — The trial for the four suspects who are charged with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is wrapping up.

Closing arguments were underway Friday. The jury will begin deliberations on Monday.

Federal Prosecutor Nils Kessler told the jury that Americans can criticize their government publicly, protest policies and vote out elected officials.

“What we can’t do is kidnap them, kill them or blow them up," Kessler said.

He said the two men who pleaded guilty in the case, Ty Garbin of Harland and Kaleb Franks of Waterford, “came in here and testified to you that this plot was real. That’s why they pleaded guilty.”

The jury inside the federal court in Grand Rapids heard closing arguments from the government and four defense attorneys.

Daniel Harris of Lake Orion, Brandon Caserta of Canton Township, Adam Fox of Grand Rapids and Barry Croft of Delaware are charged with conspiracy to kidnap the governor over her COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. They face up to life if convicted.

Defense attorneys are arguing that the government has not proven its case and the men on trial didn’t have the skills for the plan.

Christopher Gibbons, the attorney for Fox, told the jury, “It’s all just talk.”

Gibbons also told the jury the defendants were entrapped by undercover informants and FBI agents including “Big Dan” Chappell.

Gibbons said the plot was, “not Adam Fox’s plans. We think the evidence shows clearly those plans belong to the government.”

The other defense attorneys also gave their closing arguments and the case will go to the jury.

Judge Robert Jonker told the jury they will deliberate until 4:30 or 5 p.m. each day.

In addition to the conspiracy to kidnap charges, Fox, Harris, and Croft also face a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. There are also two gun charges in the case.