GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A jury has found two men guilty of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Tuesday, the jury in the second Governor Whitmer kidnapping plot found Barry Croft and Adam Fox guilty of conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Croft, 46, a trucker from Bear, Delaware, was also convicted of another explosives charge.
Their co-defendants, Brandon Caserta and Daniel Harris, were acquitted on all charges in the first trial. A jury spent just over 4 days time deliberating the case in the first trial.
In the retrial, the jury started deliberations on Monday and reached a verdict just before noon on Tuesday.
The result was a victory for the government following the shocking mixed outcome last spring.
Governor Whitmer released a statement after the verdict was read, saying its proof that violence has no place in politics.
“I want to thank the prosecutors and law enforcement officers for their hard work and my family, friends, and staff for their support.
“Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable. They will not succeed.
“But we must also take a hard look at the status of our politics. Plots against public officials and threats to the FBI are a disturbing extension of radicalized domestic terrorism that festers in our nation, threatening the very foundation of our republic.
“I ran for office because I love my fellow Michiganders and my home state with all my heart. I always will. I cannot—I will not—let extremists get in the way of the work we do. They will never break my unwavering faith in the goodness and decency of our people.
“I will stay focused on getting things done for the people of Michigan.”
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist also released a statement saying violent extremists will be held responsible for their actions, adding they will not deter him or Governor Whitmer from serving the people of Michigan.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve alongside Governor Gretchen Whitmer as Lieutenant Governor. Since the day she asked me to run alongside her, I have seen her dedication and commitment to the people of Michigan. I have seen her devotion to the kind of public service that works around the clock to make Michiganders’ lives better and delivers real change for every community. I have seen her step up to the plate to make tough decisions.
“Today’s outcome ensures that those who threaten to kidnap and kill public officials will be held accountable for their crimes under the law. When we took our oaths of office, we committed to serving all Michiganders. Violent extremists have tried to scare us and prevent us from doing our jobs, but they will not win. We will keep working hard, standing tall and standing tough, and living up to the oath we took.
“Our differences must never be settled through violence. We need to be honest and clear about what causes violence by extremists and do all we can to address the root cause of it. Elected officials, parents, teachers, faith leaders, all of us have a duty to stand up to these hateful actions and teach our kids that there is a better way.
“I know that Governor Whitmer will continue leading with grit to do what is right. I know she will always love this amazing state and she will keep putting Michiganders first—no matter what.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also chimed in, stating that the verdict is a "victory for the rule of law."
“Those who threaten the lives of public officials must be held accountable. No one should have to forfeit their safety or that of their loved ones in exchange for pursuing public service. If domestic terrorists are allowed to get away with acts of violence against the people’s representatives, they may soon turn that violence on our communities and residents. Today’s verdict is a victory for the rule of law and a significant defeat for domestic terrorism. I have a zero-tolerance for such acts and look forward to pursuing the state’s cases in court.”