AP

Trial testimony ends for 3 tied to Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot

Oct 21, 2022, 8:29 AM | Updated: 10:33 am

Prosecutors and defense lawyers rested their case Friday in the trial of three men charged with assisting the 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

An undercover FBI agent, Mark Schweers, told jurors that leader Adam Fox talked favorably about the Wolverine Watchmen, a paramilitary group whose members included Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar.

The trio is not accused of having a direct role in the Whitmer kidnapping scheme, which included a night ride to northern Michigan to scout her vacation home. The main charge is providing material support for a terrorist act, especially gun drills and ambush training with Fox in Jackson County.

The last witness for prosecutors was a gas station attendant who said Musico and Morrison regularly complained about the Democratic governor and her COVID-19 restrictions and wanted to harm her back in 2020.

“She’s a Nazi. She’s a tyrant,” Shawn Toth said, quoting the two.

The trial resumed Friday following a four-day suspension for an illness among the defense lawyers.

Morrison, Musico and Bellar chose not to testify. Defense attorneys briefly called a state police officer and recalled an FBI agent before resting their side of the case. Closing arguments were scheduled for Monday.

The trial in state court is an offshoot of the main case handled in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted of a kidnapping conspiracy. Two men pleaded guilty and two more were acquitted.

Defense lawyers say Morrison, Musico and Bellar stopped associating with Fox by late summer when the kidnapping plot was accelerating. They also didn’t participate in training that occurred on the same weekend as the trip to see Whitmer’s home.

Bellar had moved to South Carolina by the end of July 2020, two months before the FBI broke up the plot with 14 arrests. Whitmer was never physically harmed: Undercover agents and informants were embedded in the group for months.

___

White reported from Detroit.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwritez

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

1 day ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

1 day ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

5 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

6 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Trial testimony ends for 3 tied to Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot