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Next stage in prosecuting alleged kidnapping plotters takes place this week in Antrim County

Photo of a weapon submitted as evidence in the federal trial over the alleged conspiracy to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
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U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

The next phase of the prosecution against a group of men accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer is scheduled to begin this week in northern Michigan.

So far, two men pleaded guilty, two men were found not guilty and just last week a federal jury found two more men guilty on the charge of conspiring to kidnap the governor.

Prosecutors called Adam Fox and Barry Croft the ringleaders of the plot to kidnap Whitmer, and they both face up to life in prison after being convicted last week. But eight other men are still awaiting trial over the alleged plot that dates back to the spring of 2020. Five of those men will be in court in hearings scheduled all this week in Antrim County to determine if there’s enough evidence to go to trial.

Their attorneys have argued that the men were not as involved in discussions about possibly kidnapping the governor, and shouldn’t face charges.

Eric Molitor, Brian Higgins, Shawn Fix and Michael and William Hull are scheduled to appear in court Monday through Friday for their preliminary exam. They're charged with providing material support to a terrorist act, and for possessing a firearm while committing a felony.

Following the hearing, the judge in the case is expected to decide whether there’s enough evidence for the men to face trial. Three other men are being charged in a state court in Jackson County. They’re scheduled to face trial next month.

Copyright 2022 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Dustin Dwyer is a reporter for a new project at Michigan Radio that will look at improving economic opportunities for low-income children. Previously, he worked as an online journalist for Changing Gears, as a freelance reporter and as Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. Before he joined Michigan Radio, Dustin interned at NPR's Talk of the Nation, wrote freelance stories for The Jackson Citizen-Patriot and completed a Reporting & Writing Fellowship at the Poynter Institute.