After a month of trial in federal court in Grand Rapids and five days of deliberations, the jurors acquitted Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, without being able to reach a unanimous verdict for Adam Fox and Barry Croft. Judge Robert Jonker therefore declared the trial void for the latter.
The four men were part of a group violently opposed to the restrictive measures adopted by the governor to contain the pandemic of COVID-19. Moreover, he wanted to trigger a
civil war in the United States, according to the prosecution, by kidnapping the leader and trying her for
Their arrest in October 2020 illustrated the growing threat posed by radical right-wing militias, which was then confirmed during the assault on the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. Several members of far-right groups were indicted for their role in the attack on the headquarters of the United States Congress.
Two other activists pleaded guilty
Among the rest of the group, two activists have pleaded guilty, one of whom has already been sentenced to six years in prison. Eight others, accused of complicity, will be tried in Michigan state court.
According to the prosecution, the four activists accused the governor of being
a tyrant and had contacted a local small group, the Wolverine Watchmento practice in order to abduct and judge her.
They had decided to capture her in her second home in the Great Lakes region, where they had gone twice for scouting. They had taken a picture of a bridge they wanted to blow up with explosives to slow down the arrival of the police.
Adam Fox, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft pleaded not guilty. They claimed to have been trapped by undercover federal police agents and informants who, according to them, pushed them to act, train, arm themselves.
Adam Fox was a
marginalwithout home or money, who cool“,”text”:”wanted to be cool”}}”>wanted to be coolpleaded his lawyer Christopher Gibbons, assuring that he had only advanced
crazy ideas during drunken and smoky evenings.
The prosecutor, Jonathan Roth, affirmed on the contrary that the group was
action oriented and the
longing for second civil war.