Antrim Co. jury begins deliberation in Whitmer kidnap plot trial
Attorneys made closing arguments Wednesday, after more than three weeks of testimony from federal agents, undercover officers and some of the defendants themselves.
Jurors were asked to convict and acquit the three men on trial in Antrim County for their alleged roles in the failed plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Eric Molitor and twin brothers Michael and William Null are accused of providing material support for terrorist acts plus a felony firearm charge.
After more than three weeks of testimony from federal agents, undercover officers and some of the defendants themselves, attorneys made a last effort to sway the jury in their favor.
Assistant Attorney General Bill Rollstin went first. He says the men knew about the plot before they surveyed the governor’s house on separate occasions in the summer of 2020.
“The idea that they were just along for the ride, and they didn't know what they were doing, smacks in the face of common sense," Rollstin said. "We don't do a lot by mistake in life. We certainly don't take multi-hour car rides and not knowing what we're going to do.”
Rollstin said that Molitor provided material support by giving convicted ringleader Adam Fox a device used to scan for cellphones and hidden recording devices in a given area.
Molitor called the device "a piece of poop" in his testimony. His attorney, Bill Barnett, said the evidence used by the state — including messages and audio recordings — don’t accurately represent his client’s intent.
“People have a right in America to say bad or mean things. That doesn’t mean he provided material support or resources," Barnett told the jury. "It’s just shown to you to inflame you, to upset you. Put it aside.”
The state argued the Null brothers provide support through their presence. Rollstin called them a “two-man wrecking ball” and said they "aren't afraid to be on the business end of a gun."
William Null testified earlier this week that he thought Fox was ranting when he described plans to abduct the governor from her cottage in Elk Rapids.
Thomas Siver, the attorney for Michael Null, used his closing argument to tell the jury none of the evidence presented in the past three weeks has been pointed at his client.
“There's no evidence that they had a gun. There's no evidence they provided anything. There's no evidence that might no provided and Fox are very Croft with any kind of information while on this car ride,” Siver said.
Barry Croft Jr. is the other convicted ringleader of the alleged plot.
Fourteen people were originally arrested back in October 2020. Nine have been convicted and two were acquitted.
The 12-person jury is expected to start deliberating Thursday.