PanaTimes

Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

US jury acquits two in governor kidnap case, hung on two others

US jury acquits two in governor kidnap case, hung on two others

Prosecutors said the group was steeped in anti-government attitudes and anger over the governor’s COVID restrictions.

A federal jury in the United States has acquitted two men of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, but was deadlocked on the same charges against two other men.

In a federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 12-member panel on Friday found Adam Fox and Daniel Harris not guilty of kidnapping conspiracy charges. The jury was not able to agree on a verdict for Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft Jr.

Harris was also found not guilty of knowingly conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against people or property, in relation to allegations of plotting to use explosives to blow up a bridge after abducting the governor.

The jury was not able to reach a verdict against Fox and Croft for the same charge, resulting in a mistrial. Caserta did not face the weapons charge.

From left, Barry Croft, Daniel Harris, Adam Fox and Brandon Caserta


US District Judge Robert Jonker acknowledged the struggle of deliberations. Decisions to convict or acquit must be unanimous. “I know it’s tough. We all know it’s tough,” Jonker told the jury.

“It’s important to reach unanimity if you can … If you just can’t see it, then that’s what we need to hear eventually as your final answer,” Jonker said.

The men were charged in a plot prosecutors say had been inspired by their fierce opposition to pandemic-related restrictions that Whitmer’s office imposed.

The case stands as one of the most high-profile prosecutions of alleged members of right-wing organisations that have sprung up in the years since former President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

It also highlights the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic and government efforts to control it have become a wedge issue in US politics.

The prosecution, which said the men belonged to self-styled militia groups, accused them of planning to break into Whitmer’s vacation home, spirit her away and put her on “trial” for treason.

The kidnapping, the defendants had hoped, would force an end to Whitmer’s pandemic mandates, while pushing the country – highly polarised ahead of the 2020 elections – into a second American civil war, prosecutors said.

Whitmer, a Democrat, rarely talks publicly about the alleged plot against her


The defence argued that the government used FBI informants and undercover agents to encourage the online discussions, hoping to entrap the defendants in alleged crimes because of their political views, they said.

The acquittals come despite key testimony from Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, two others who were charged in the alleged plot before striking plea deals with prosecutors. Garbin is currently serving a six-year sentence, while Franks is awaiting sentencing.

The four on trial are among 13 men who were arrested in October 2020 and charged with state or federal crimes in the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Seven of them are facing charges in state court.

The FBI said it had begun tracking the group’s movements after seeing online discussions that included posts about the violent overthrow of some state governments.

Comments

Free Charlie 299 days ago
The jury system is the backstop of democracy. No matter how tyrannical or corrupt these criminal political decision makers get, remember, the more sheep you wake up, the better for all of us for things like this. Their time is limited, and they know it.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
×