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Bond conditions loosened for man accused in Whitmer kidnap plot

Michael Coghlan

One of the alleged accomplices in the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gained more freedoms Wednesday, as he awaits his next court appearance.

Eric Molitor, of Cadillac, went before Antrim County’s 86th District Court to ask for his bail restrictions to be lifted.

Molitor is one of five men being charged in the Antrim County court because of their connection to a surveillance trip to Gov. Whitmer’s vacation home in Elk Rapids. He was charged with providing material assistance to a terrorist organization and a felony firearm offense.

The Cadillac man has been on house arrest for five months since making bail on January 14. His lawyer asked the court to change the conditions so that he could work a job early in the morning, before his curfew allowed.

Furthering his support of limited restrictions, Molitor’s lawyer argued that his client was not a willing participant. He admitted Molitor went on the surveillance trip but was scared of his companions, who had come armed. He added that Molitor was not a threat to the public and that other men alleged to have committed similar crimes have had their bail conditions relaxed.

Prosecutors supported changing the curfew conditions if Molitor was provided a job offer, but asked for continued GPS monitoring. They argue Molitor was more than willing to participate in the surveillance. In court filings, prosecutors said he was close with Wolverine Watchmen ring-leader Adam Fox. They allege Molitor took photos and video of the governor’s home using Fox’s phone and tracked the distance to nearby police departments.

The judge eliminated the curfew requirement but kept Molitor’s GPS tether in place.

The pretrial hearing for the men was originally set for December last year, but it's been postponed several times due to attorneys needing more time to prepare, and now to wait until the court can meet again in person.

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.