Three men guilty of plot to kidnap Michigan governor, jury finds News
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Three men guilty of plot to kidnap Michigan governor, jury finds

A Jackson County, Michigan, Jury Wednesday convicted Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar for felony charges related to their 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her summer home. 

As the jury read its verdict, Bellar appeared in court, and Morrison and Musico appeared virtually via Zoom, as they recently tested positive for COVID-19. After the foreperson read the jury’s verdict, Musico was visibly emotional, and Morrison wiped away a tear from his face. Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson ordered Bellar immediately remanded into custody and ordered transportation be arranged to bring Morrison and Musico into custody pending their sentencing on December 15. The convictions are the first under Michigan’s anti-terrorism act.

Whitmer commented:

Today, three defendants were found guilty of material support for terrorism, gang membership, and possession of a weapon while committing a felony in support of the plot to kidnap and kill me. Now, hear me loud and clear: I will not let anyone get in the way of the work we do. No threat, no plot, no rhetoric will break my belief in the goodness and decency of our people. And these verdicts are further proof that violence and threats have no place in our politics.

In October 2020, the FBI charged six men with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer. Ty Gerard Garbin pleaded guilty in January 2021 to kidnapping conspiracy. In August 2022, a federal jury convicted Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. of conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer and related charges.