GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Kaleb Franks testified when he was arrested in October of 2020, he told the feds the group plotting to kidnap the Governor was LARPing.
Larping means live-action role-playing.
Franks testified he said LARPing because he didn’t want to go to jail.
Franks also told the jury he was a heroin addict before the case. And, after his arrest, he was given and used suboxone which is used to diminish the cravings. That could affect his pending cooperation with the government to testify as a star witness.
Four men are on trial in the conspiracy, Daniel Harris of Lake Orion, Brandon Caserta of Canton Township, Adam Fox of Grand Rapids, and Barry Croft of Delaware.
Franks has not been sentenced and the drug use in lockup could result in a longer prison term.
Franks waited a year to take a deal and plead guilty to the same charge that could put the four on trial in prison up to life.
Fox's Defense Attorney Chris Gibbons asked Franks if he was expecting a light sentence with his cooperation and the exchange included:
Gibbons: They have not promised you that though, right?
Gibbons: You’re hoping that they’ll do that, correct?
Franks: Yes. Without a guarantee, I don’t expect anything.
Gibbons: But you do have a hope?
Franks: I would like that, yes. But there’s no guarantee. I wasn’t promised anything. It’s completely up to them.
Gibbons: But it’s also up to you a little bit too, isn’t it? The government expects you to come here and testify truthfully, true?
Gibbons: Isn’t it true that your testimony… in order to really work… has to substantially assist the government does it not?
Franks: Ah, I think so yes.
One juror was dozing off and it was pointed out to Judge Robert Jonker during a break. The judge joked to the attorneys they needed to be more interesting. But he may also have sent the message for the jury to stay alert.