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Jurors deliberating on the case surrounding an alleged attempted kidnapping of the Michigan governor are deadlocked on some counts against the defendants.
Jurors have returned verdicts on multiple counts surrounding charges against four men of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. However, jurors said on Friday there were several counts on which the deliberative body was deadlocked. The testimony began on March 9.
“It’s not unusual to come back somewhere along the deliberations and say ‘we tried, but we couldn’t get it,'” Judge Robert Jonker said, according to Detroit News. “At least not on everything.”
TRIAL SUMMARY FOR 4 MEN CHARGED WITH MICHIGAN GOVERNOR’S PLOT
Jonker encouraged the jurors to continue deliberations in hopes of reaching a unanimous decision, saying: “Before this is the final answer, I would like you to go back and make another effort to see if you can come to an agreement on the issues you’re stuck on as a group.”
The trial has lasted more than 20 days as the public awaits the final decision on defendants Barry Croft, Adam Fox, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. Prosecutors say they turned their anger on the government in 2020 in a plot to kidnap Whitmer due to the restrictions she imposed during the early months of the pandemic.
Defense attorneys say informants and undercover agents improperly influenced the men.
Whitmer, a Democrat seeking reelection, rarely speaks publicly about the case. She has blamed former President Donald Trump for fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists like those charged in the case. She said Trump was complicit in the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
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A man upset by state coronavirus restrictions was sentenced to just over six years in prison last year after admitting his involvement in the plot – a significant break that reflects his quick decision to cooperate and to help officers build cases against others.
Ty Garbin admitted his role in the alleged scheme weeks after his arrest last fall. He is between six men accused in federal court, but the only one to have pleaded guilty so far. It was a key victory for prosecutors as they tried to prove an amazing conspiracy against the others.
Garbin apologized to Whitmer, who was not in court, and his family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.