Prosecution stays case in Governor Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy trial
The feds have concluded their case in the retrial of two men accused of an alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home – a scheme the feds say also involved killing her security detail and to blow up a bridge to slow down the cops – because they were upset with his handling of the pandemic.
Lawyers for defendants Adam Fox and Barry Croft are not expected to call many witnesses, meaning jurors could begin their deliberations after closing arguments on Friday.
After the government rested, the defense sought an acquittal from the judge, arguing that the government had failed to prove its case based on the evidence presented. But the judge found that a reasonable jury could convict the defendants – not that they should, but that they could – and dismissed the claim.
Jurors heard Thursday from a handful of government witnesses, mostly FBI agents and analysts who collected and reviewed evidence shortly after the October 2020 arrest of six men facing federal charges in the kidnapping conspiracy. presumed. Five were arrested in an FBI sting outside a Ypsilanti warehouse. Croft was arrested at a gas station in New Jersey.
The government closed its case after seven days of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses, including Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks – two co-defendants who pleaded guilty early on and agreed to testify against their alleged acolytes.
Franks and Garbin testified at the first trial, which resulted in no conviction after five days of jury deliberation. The jury acquitted defendants Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta and blocked charges against Fox and Croft, triggering a mistrial.
The defense subpoenaed Harris and Caserta to testify at the retrial, but both men chose not to testify.
If convicted, Fox and Croft both face life in prison for conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
The jury was dismissed at 1:30 p.m. Thursday after hearing from the first defense witness: a friend of Croft’s who witnessed many of the events cited during the trial.
Contact Tresa Baldas: [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy trial: prosecution ends case