News

Man tells jury: I never agreed to kidnap Gov. Whitmer

Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 31, 2022

(WXYX) — For almost two hours, 24-year-old Daniel Harris of Lake Orion told his story to the jury in federal court in Grand Rapids.

Almost two dozen times he was asked by his defense attorney, “did you agree to kidnap the Governor?” and his answer was a consistent – "absolutely not.”

Harris also denied helping to buy a bomb and testified he tried to discourage others from discussing the plot because, “it was an easy way to get yourself killed.”

Harris said his interest in joining the Wolverine Watchmen militia group was to continue the military skills he learned doing four years in the Marines. He left with an honorable discharge in June 2019.

The government has portrayed the four men on trial as plotting, planning and training over several months in 2020 targeting Whitmer over her COVID-19 lockdowns. The plan, they say, was to kidnap her at her summer cabin in Elk Rapids, blow up a nearby bridge to slow police and kill any security that got in the way.

Harris was wearing a suit and tie, sat just a few feet away from the jury and was smiling several times. Several jurors watched him closely making eye contact and some were taking written notes.

Harris will not face cross-examination from the prosecution.

Harris, Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta, and Barry Croft are in day 14 of the trial that could end this week or early next. All face up to life in prison if convicted.

Judge Robert Jonker asked defense attorneys about their cases and the rest of the trial schedule without the jury in the courtroom.

The remaining attorneys 3 said their clients, Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft will not be testifying.

They also said they believed they would be ready to end the trial tomorrow with jury instructions and closing statements.