Whitmer Kidnapping Trial Advances in Michigan

by Scott McClallen


More than two years after the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was foiled, criminal cases against alleged perpetrators are still working their way through the court system.

The Antrim County County Circuit Court has approved two motions from the state in the trial of five alleged co-conspirators charged with providing material support in the plot to kidnap Whitmer. Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer approved the motions on Wednesday, which asked that the cases be joined for trial and that the court allow the admission of co-conspirator statements.

The federal government foiled the plot in October 2020, calling it the most significant domestic terrorism case in the state in decades. Fourteen men were arrested for plotting to kidnap the governor from her vacation home in Elk Rapids and attack other government officials.

The defendants all filed either objections or responses to the state’s motion to consolidate.

“These statements will provide the jury with more detail as to what happened during the commission of the crimes charged,” Nessel said. “I am grateful Judge Elsenheimer has permitted the co-conspirator’s statements to be heard at trial.”

Defendants Brian Higgins, Shawn Fix, Eric Molitor, William Null and Michael Null are all charged with one count of providing material support for a terrorist act. Fix, Molitor, William Null and Michael Null are also charged with possessing a firearm when committing or attempting to commit a felony.

The charges stem from the defendants’ actions in August and September of 2020 when Nessel’s office says they targeted Whitmer’s northern Michigan vacation cottage and conducted surveillance.

So far, two of the 14 have been acquitted, five found guilty, and two pleaded guilty.

The next court date is on March 13, when the court will consider a motion to hear arguments pertaining to a writ regarding Kaleb Franks, an in-custody witness.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer. Background Photo “Courtroom” by Sadmir Kanovicki.



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