GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A jury is now deciding the fate of four men accused of plotting to kidnap and kill Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Jury deliberations continue on day 17 of the trial.
Tuesday morning, the jury asked to look at transcripts of witness testimony. Judge Jonker would not allow them to view transcripts while they deliberated because he says there is a “richness” to oral testimony that gets lost when it’s put into the written word.
On Monday morning the 12-person jury panel and three alternates were brought into 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.
The jury was dismissed for the day shortly after that.
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. Fox, Croft and Harris are all facing additional charges.
The men were supposedly angry over COVID-19 restrictions and allegedly planned it from June to October 2020.
The defense has 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.
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