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Second man pleads guilty in alleged 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Posted at 11:07 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 11:07:26-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty Wednesday, a second key conviction for the government just a month before four others face trial.

Kaleb Franks joined Ty Garbin as the second person to admit guilt in a plot to abduct the Democratic governor before FBI agents arrested them in October 2020. The plea gives prosecutors another important witness for the March 8 trial.

The government said the group wanted to kidnap Whitmer because of disgust over her COVID-19 restrictions.

Franks replied, “yes, sir,” to a series of questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Phillip Green about his role.

He signed a document admitting he “was not entrapped or induced to commit any crimes” by undercover agents or informants. Garbin pleaded guilty in 2021 and was sentenced to slightly more than six years in prison.

Franks acknowledged in court documents that he was deeply involved in the plot, which included outdoor training with firearms in Wisconsin and Michigan and scouting Whitmer’s second home in northern Michigan.