UNITED STATES NEWS

Man charged with aiding Whitmer kidnap plot says he should have called police

Sep 11, 2023, 1:00 PM

A man charged with assisting the leaders of a plan to kidnap Michigan’s governor denied any role Monday but conceded he should have contacted police when talk turned to obtaining explosives.

“It seemed to be getting serious,” William Null, 41, told jurors in a northern Michigan courtroom. “I don’t know if they were ever going to go through with it, but it was enough for me to not want to be involved.”

Null, brother Michael Null and Eric Molitor are on trial in Antrim County, the last of 14 men charged in state or federal court since FBI agents broke up a kidnapping conspiracy against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

Authorities said the men were anti-government extremists who were also furious over restrictions ordered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nulls and Molitor are charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, namely aiding leaders Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., who were convicted last year in federal court.

There is no dispute that Michael Null participated in militia-style training with dozens of people in September 2020 and then joined a small group that drove 75 miles that same weekend to see Whitmer’s lakeside vacation home.

But Null said he had no active role in the surveillance and didn’t initially know that the purpose of the night ride was to see Whitmer’s house. He said Fox and Croft often were “half-baked” on marijuana and spewing “crazy rants” against government officials.

Null said he became concerned the next day when Fox, Croft and others talked about getting a bomb to possibly blow up a bridge near Whitmer’s home.

“I literally locked eyes with my brother,” Null testified. “At this point in time, I’m involved in something I do not want to be involved in.”

Defense attorney Damian Nunzio asked: Why not call police?

“I wish I would have,” Null replied. “I didn’t want no more to do with this. … I should have, I guess.”

Null earlier explained to jurors that he had started his own militia in 2015, partly to protect people who wanted to rally in favor of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He said he also participated in protests against COVID-19 restrictions, typically wearing body armor and bearing guns.

Informants and undercover FBI agents were inside Fox’s group for months, making recordings and collecting evidence. Whitmer was not physically harmed.

Nine men been convicted, either through guilty pleas or in three trials, while two have been acquitted.

After the plot was thwarted, Whitmer blamed Trump, saying he had given “comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” Trump called the kidnapping plan a “fake deal” in August 2022.

___

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

United States News

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street dips lower as markets wait for Nvidia earrnings, Fed meeting minutes

Wall Street inched lower early Wednesday while markets waited for Nvidia’s quarterly earnings release, which could serve as a litmus test for the AI chip revolution. Futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.3% before the bell and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%. Nvidia’s report, which will come out later in the […]

7 hours ago

FILE - An orca swims past a recreational boat sailing just offshore in the Salish Sea in the San Ju...

Associated Press

To keep whales safe, Coast Guard launches boat alert system in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — Photographer Matt McDonald had lived on Puget Sound for years, but had never seen a whale, so he was elated when he spotted a giant marine mammal just off Seattle’s waterfront one evening. The excitement was short-lived. As McDonald tracked the whale in his camera’s viewfinder, a state ferry that dwarfed the […]

8 hours ago

FILE - From left, Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski appear in criminal court after...

Associated Press

An unusual criminal case over handwritten lyrics to ‘Hotel California’ goes to trial Wednesday

NEW YORK (AP) — A curious criminal case involving handwritten lyrics to the classic rock megahit “Hotel California” and other Eagles favorites is going to trial in a New York courtroom, with opening statements set for Wednesday. The three defendants, all well-established in the collectibles world, are accused of scheming to thwart Eagles co-founder Don […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Family friend of Texas girl Audrii Cunningham facing charges in 11-year-old’s death, prosecutor says

A family friend of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham was in jail Wednesday as prosecutors say they plan to charge him in the girl’s death after her body was found in a river near her rural Texas home. Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said the body of the young girl — who went missing last week — […]

9 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South L...

Associated Press

It’s an election year, and Biden’s team is signaling a more aggressive posture toward the press

NEW YORK (AP) — Occupants of the White House have grumbled over news coverage practically since the place was built. Now it’s Joe Biden’s turn: With a reelection campaign underway, there are signs that those behind the president are starting to more aggressively and publicly challenge how he is portrayed. Within the past two weeks, […]

9 hours ago

Emily Hollenbeck, a deep brain stimulation therapy patient, demonstrates an EEG device that records...

Associated Press

A pacemaker for the brain helped a woman with crippling depression. It may soon offer hope to others

NEW YORK (AP) — Emily Hollenbeck lived with a recurring depression she likened to a black hole, where gravity felt so strong and her limbs so heavy she could barely move. She knew the illness could kill her. Both her parents had taken their lives. She was willing to try something extreme: Having electrodes implanted […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

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.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Man charged with aiding Whitmer kidnap plot says he should have called police