Brandon Caserta and other defendents who are accused of plotting to kidnap and kill Governor Gretchen Whitmer are trying to keep the jury from hearing a 70-second video that was posted on Facebook. The defense is arguing that Caserta made comments about police officers that “has nothing to do with kidnapping the Governor,” and that Caserta was simply venting his frustration over traffic tickets.
Here is what the prosecutors want the jury to hear from the October 7, 2020, video of Caserta:
"And I'm telling you what, right now, man. I'm going to make this shit 100% clear, dude. If this shit goes down, okay? If this whole thing, you know, starts to happen; I'm telling you what, dude, I'm taken out as many of those m----- ------s (expletive) as I can. Every single one, dude, every single one... And if you guys are going to give any of these mother f------ a chance, any of these gang, f------ criminal a-- government thugs that rob people every day; if you're even going to give them a second to try to speak or tell their story, don't even f--- me, dude. Don't even f--- with me. I have zero patience for immoral coward criminals. OK? ...And guess what? I'm sick of being robbed and enslaved by the state, period. I'm sick of it. And these are the guys who are actually doing it. You know? So if if, you know, if if we're doing a recon or something and we come up on some of them, dude, you better not give them a chance. You either tell them to go right now, or else they're going to die. Period. That's what it's going to be, dude, because they are the f------ enemy, period."
According to the indictment, Caserta was a member of the Wolverine Watchment militia whose members are aso affiliated with the Three Percenters.
Defense lawyers say that Caserta believed that the “stability of local and federal governments were eroding and civil unrest was tearing at the fabric of our country and being prepared for this unrest and governmental breakdown was essential.”
The video was also preceded by other videos that were livestreamed to Facebook in which Caserta was complaining about police who stopped him on a traffic violation. Caserta concluded the video by saying, “Bro, I’m tellin’ you what. Let this (expletive) go down bro. Let this (expletive) go down. I’m f—– ready dude. I’m so f—– ready man. These m—– ——s need to go 100%.”
Five other suspects are facing federal charges and life in prison. The case goes to trial in October.
A sixth defendant, Ty Garbin of Hartland Township, cut a deal in the case, pleaded guilty and is cooperating against the others.