Three men were found guilty by a state jury on Wednesday of supporting plans to kidnap the governor of Michigan in 2020 (USA), Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, according to local media.
Joe Morrison, His son-in-law Pete Musico and Paul Bellar were found guilty of providingmaterial support” to a terrorist act, as members of the paramilitary group The Wolverine Watchmen.
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The three could face a sentence of up to 22 years in prison: 20 for the charge of providing material support and 2 more for a charge of crime with firearms. Sentencing was set for December 15.
The defendants carried out exercises with firearms in Jackson County (Michigan) with a leader of the plot, Adam Fox, who wanted to kidnap the governor for his dissatisfaction with his policies to contain the covid pandemic.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the three men “were involved in planning and training for an operation to attack the state capitol building and kidnap government officials,” including Whitmer.
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The verdict comes after three weeks of a trial in which the Michigan attorney general’s office has tried to prove that the defendants provided assistance to either Fox or Barry Croft, the leaders of the plot to kidnap the governor.
Prosecutors have pointed out that the restrictions imposed by Whitmer to contain the covid-19 pandemic spurred the enlistment of volunteers in The Wolverine Watchmen.
Precisely, last August a federal jury found Fox and Croft guilty of conspiring to take Whitmer hostage.
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During the toughest months of the pandemic, Whitmer was criticized by conservative groups and far-right militias, and even by the then president, donald trump (2017-2021), for imposing the closure of commercial activity and crowds in the state.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.