GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After years of investigation and weeks of court proceedings, a jury is now deciding the fate of four men accused of plotting to kidnap and kill Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
On Monday morning the 12-person jury panel and three alternates were brought in to the courtroom for a total of about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Judge Robert Jonker told them this is not about politics or about the pandemic, this is a criminal case and they have to weigh the evidence and the law.
Just after 3 p.m., the jury asked Judge Jonker for the definition of a weapon.
He told them it is a category of devices that could readily be used or designed to destroy, injure or kill someone or something, as opposed to something you’d simply use for fun, and that the term could be applied very broadly based on context.
Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were all arrested in October of 2020 and charged with conspiracy to kidnap for allegedly planning to kidnap Governor Whitmer at her vacation home.
The men were supposedly angry over COVID-19 restrictions and allegedly planned it from June to October 2020.
After nearly two years of the government preparing its case, four weeks of trial has culminated in a jury of 12 now tasked with deciding the fate of the four men.
"Well, we made our defense, so it is what it is, the cake is baked,” said Christopher Gibbons, attorney for Adam Fox. “But I'm very happy with the product and where we're at, and I'm looking forward to what the jury has to say one way or the other."
In his closing argument, Gibbons said you can't "make terrorists so we can arrest them."
They have argued that the defendants were entrapped by undercover agents and informants who pushed the plan forward.
Three things have to be proven for the jury to reach a guilty verdict: that two or more people conspired the plan; they willingly and voluntarily entered it; and they did things to advance it.
If convicted, all four men could spend the rest of their lives behind bars.