Two men were acquitted of charges they plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury deadlocked on charges against two other men in what has been described as a “significant defeat” for federal prosecutors.
The jury of six men and six women found Brandon Caserta and Daniel Harris not guilty of all charges against them, and did not reach any verdicts on the charges against Barry Croft and Adam Fox, The New York Times reported.
All four of the men had been accused of plotting to snatch Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, from her vacation home in 2020.
“Obviously we’re disappointed in the outcome,” Andrew Birge, the United States attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said outside the courthouse.
He added: “We still believe in the jury system, and really, there’s not too much more I can say at this time. I appreciate the time the jury put in. They listened to a lot of evidence, deliberated quite a bit.”
Defense attorneys argued that the entire plot was concocted by federal agents.
“There was no plan to kidnap the governor, and there was no agreement between these four men,” Joshua Blanchard, a lawyer for Croft, said in closing arguments. He said the government tried to conjure up a conspiracy by using a network of informants and undercover agents, and that “without a plan, the snitches needed to make it look like” there was movement toward a plan.
BREAKING: Jurors acquitted two defendants of conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020; couldn’t agree on a verdict for two others. – AP— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 8, 2022
BREAKING: Two of four men were acquitted in a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, motivated by fury at the Democrat’s tough COVID-19 restrictions early in the pandemic. https://t.co/OStbqLisDL pic.twitter.com/eTd1nwwLvH— Newsmax (@newsmax) April 8, 2022
This is a developing story.