Preliminary hearing continues for 3 men charged in connection to Whitmer plot

Posted at 2:08 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 14:08:42-05

JACKSON, MICH. — Preliminary hearings for three men charged with felony firearms charges, providing support material for acts of terrorism and gang charges continued Thursday.

Joseph Morrison, Paul Bellar, and Pete Musico are all charged in Jackson County for their alleged involvement in planning acts of political violence while members of Michigan militia group Wolverine Watchmen, including plans to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

On Thursday, the FBI special agent tasked with investigating the three men was questioned by the defense. Though represented by three separate attorneys, the narrative was largely similar--that the men's respective speech was not backed with real intentions to commit acts of violence and that their tactical training never crossed over into training for specific attacks.

The defense argued the "kill houses" the men practiced breaching doors with were nothing more than shell-structures and that they were not designed to replicate the governor's home or the Capitol. Upon redirect, the FBI agent testified the types of doors the men were practicing breaching were not typical doors and described this type of training as unusual.

FBI Agent: "Breaching, center breaching doors through double doors."
Prosecutor: "What does that mean?"
FBI Agent: "That means two doors next to one another that open inward into a public building such as the Capitol."

The agent testifying was allowed to leave but was not dismissed from testimony and the judge specified he may be called back for further questioning at a later date.
The confidential informant who brought this case to the FBI's attention is expected to testify Friday morning at 8:30.