The Governor Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy trial has ended, after five days of jury deliberations, with no convictions.
Daniel Harris, the only defendant to take the stand, was acquitted on all four counts against him, including kidnapping conspiracy, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, possession of an unregistered destructive device, and possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle. Brandon Caserta was acquitted of the only count that he faced, kidnapping conspiracy. The two will be released after 18 months behind bars.
The jury deadlocked on charges against Adam Fox and Adam Croft, and the U.S. Attorney's office in Grand Rapids has pledged to retry their cases.
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An additional eight defendants, charged under Michigan's anti-terrorism law, are tentatively scheduled to go to trial in September. One of the men, Pete Musico, was initially part of the alleged kidnapping plot but was kicked out for being ”too damned soft,” according to his lawyer, Kareem Johnson.
Failed State Update spoke with Johnson by telephone to get his reaction to today’s verdict:
Congratulations to those individuals that got their freedom back. Anytime that you are in detention and you are away from your family, away from your children, can't provide for your family, can't be there, can't touch them, I feel sorry for anybody that goes through that.
The government gave that case to a jury, and a jury agreed with the defense, which is not a surprise to me. Unfortunately in regards to two of the gentleman, Adam Fox and Barry Croft, this does not end today for them. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, so they eventually they are going to have to to go through this nightmare again. But yes, obviously, with two defendants walking out of the courtroom today, going back to their families, it gives us motivation.
While this news might give the eight remaining defendants a shot in the arm, they still have a fight ahead of them.
"My client is still facing some serious federal charges," Johnson continues. "Until we hear a press conference in which the charges against our clients have been dismissed, we can't get too happy, and we can't get to loose. We still have our own battle in court. At this point, I have no reason to believe that the state attorney general's office is going back down or shy away from this prosecution."