Michigan jury acquits two men, deadlock on two others in trial for plot to kidnap Whitmer
Defendants Brandon Caserta, Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr. and Daniel Harris collectively faced 10 charges.
A federal jury in Michigan on Friday found two men not guilty on charges of plotting to kidnap Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and a mistrial was declared for the two other defendants.
The jury’s verdicts against Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were read in the federal court in Grand Rapids.
Jurors said they couldn’t agree on verdicts again the two other defendants, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr.
Fox, Croft and Harris faced additional charges. The two most serious charges, kidnapping conspiracy and conspiracy to use explosives, both carry potential life sentences.
Jurors said earlier Friday afternoon they had reached decisions on "several" of the 10 charges against the defendants but were deadlocked on other charges.
Prosecutors contended they attempted to kidnap Whitmer because they were angry about her overreaching COVID-19 health-safety mandates.
The jurors' decision came on the fifth day of their deliberations, according to the Associated Press.
Defendants Caserta, Fox, Croft and Harris each faced one main charge of kidnapping conspiracy.
The nine other charges — related to explosives and a firearm — were divided among Fox with two, Croft with three and Harris with four.
During the trial, prosecutors provided testimony from undercover agents, an informant and two men who pleaded guilty to the alleged plot, the Associated Press also reports.
Jurors also were presented with secretly recorded conversations and social media posts that also served as evidence of the alleged plot.
Defense lawyers said such a conspiracy was in fact a creation of government agents who were embedded in the group and manipulated their clients, according to the wire service.