A jury acquitted three individuals on Friday in the final trial associated with a plot to abduct Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, an incident previously portrayed as an instance of domestic terrorism during the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Three men standing accused of complicity in the alleged Whitmer kidnapping plot have been acquitted. MSNBC reported on the breaking news:
“We are following breaking news. A verdict has just been reached in the trial of the three men charged in the plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer,” the report stated.
“Well, these three men who were accused of being part of this 2020 plot to kidnap the Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, have all been acquitted on all counts,” the report said. “Now, these three men were part of this militia group, the Wolverine Watchmen, and they were accused by the government of being part of this plot, of taking part in drills and surveillance of Gretchen Witmer’s properties and what they have testified.”
“Two of the three testified saying that they took part in these drills but did not know the plot until the very end,” the report continued. “And they weren’t. Some of the central players here, some of those folks have already been convicted. They are facing up to and about 20 years in prison. But these three men, two of whom are brothers, are off on all charges.”
“And you’ll remember, for anyone who hasn’t paid much attention to this case recently, this was a big deal back in 2020. It was part of the story of the extremism, the rising rhetoric around that time,” the report added.. “A closer look at some of the militia groups in the United States that have been organizing and at times put both voters and politicians’ life lives at risk here. And so while these three men have been acquitted, and this is the last of the trial, they’re one piece of a much larger story.”
William Null, his twin brother Michael Null, and Eric Molitor were declared innocent of charges related to supporting a terrorist plot and a weapons offense. They constituted the last trio among 14 individuals who faced charges either in state or federal courts. Of these, nine were convicted, while the remaining five have now been exonerated.
The Nulls and Molitor had been accused of aiding the leaders of the scheme by engaging in military-style exercises and undertaking trips to visit Whitmer’s vacation residence in northern Michigan. Notably, the main figures behind the plot, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., had previously been convicted of conspiracy to kidnap in a separate trial held last year.
During this recent trial, the jury was presented with two weeks of testimony in Antrim County, where Whitmer’s lakeside property is situated, approximately 185 miles north of the state’s Capitol.
There were audible gasps in the courtroom on Friday morning when the jury foreperson declared the ‘not guilty’ verdicts, first for the Null brothers and subsequently for Molitor. Deliberations commenced on Thursday morning and concluded after a few additional hours on Friday.
Tears welled up in the eyes of the acquitted men as they embraced their legal representatives and supporters.
“You gentlemen are free to leave,” Judge Charles Hamlyn said.