Jury Finds Three Guilty in Aiding Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

A jury in Jackson County, Michigan, has found three men guilty of all three felony counts they faced for aiding in a plot in 2020 to kidnap Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Authorities said the goal of the group was to trigger a U.S. civil war, known to extremists as the “boogaloo.”

Joseph Morrison, 28, Pete Musico, 44, and Paul Bellar, 24, were each convicted on Wednesday, with their cases separate from the previous federal trial where Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr., were convicted of conspiracy to kidnap the governor. Two other defendants pleaded guilty and two were acquitted in the federal case.

  • Prosecutors for the three reiterated that the defendants were not accused of terrorism, but for providing support to terrorists without engaging in acts of terrorism themselves. This support came in the form of organized weapons training sessions.
  • The three members of the Wolverine Watchmen spoke of wanting to be part of a revolutionary, anti-government movement, but they all ultimately shied away from engaging in terrorist behavior, according to their defense attorneys.

Morrison, who tested positive for Covid-19, and Musico were not in the courtroom and watched by video. Along with Bellar, they were convicted of the following counts:

  • Count 1– Gang Membership, felony
  • Count 2– Providing material support for an act of terrorism
  • Count 3– Weapons, felony firearms

The first two counts are both punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The firearms counts carry a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other term.

The circuit court judge ordered all three defendants jailed pending sentencing scheduled for December 15.


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