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Jurors receive evidence of bomb in governor Whitmer’s kidnapping plot

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Jurors entered the fifth day of Friday’s hearing with pennies that were offered as evidence of an explosive earlier in the trial of four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gothen Whitmer.

A court official handed over a large plastic bag known as Exhibit 291. The stands were requested before the jurors returned home on Thursday.

“If you want something different or something extra, just let us know,” said U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker. “We wish you success in your ongoing debate.

The jury is considering 10 charges in the case: one against Brandon Caserta, two against Adam Fox, three against Barry Croft Jr. and four against Daniel Harris. All the men face the main charge of kidnapping conspiracy; the remaining charges involve explosives and firearms.

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The pennies affixed to commercial-grade fireworks were intended to act as shrapnel, investigators said.

An improvised explosive device was detonated during a training session in September 2020, according to evidence, about a month before the men were arrested.

In his closing remarks on April 1, Assistant Attorney General Nils Kessler said Croft wanted to test the explosive as a possible weapon to use against Whitmer’s security team. He quotes him as saying that the pennies will be so hot that they can go “right through your skin”.

The trial now covers 20 days from March 8, including the selection of jurors, evidence, final arguments and deliberations of the jurors.

Prosecutors testified undercover agents, an important informant and two men who pleaded guilty to the plot. Jurors also read and heard secretly recorded conversations, forced social media posts and chat messages.

Prosecutors said the group was mired in anti-government extremism and angry with Whitmer’s restrictions on COVID-19.

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However, defense attorneys said any scheme was to create government agents who were embedded in the group and manipulated the men.

Croft is from Bear, Delaware, while the others are from Michigan.

Whitmer, a Democrat, rarely spoke publicly about the conspiracy, although she mentioned “surprises” during her term that seemed like “something made up” when she applied for re-election on March 17.

She accused former President Donald Trump of inciting anger over the restrictions on the coronavirus and refused to condemn right-wing extremists such as those accused in the case.

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Find a full AP coverage of the Whitmer kidnapping plot at: https://apnews.com/hub/whitmer-kidnap-plot-trial

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White reported from Detroit.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Jurors receive evidence of bomb in governor Whitmer’s kidnapping plot

Source link Jurors receive evidence of bomb in governor Whitmer’s kidnapping plot

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