Final 3 defendants in Whitmer kidnapping saga acquitted by MI jury

 September 17, 2023

In a development that shocked Democrats in the Great Lakes State, a jury on Friday acquitted the last three defendants accused of terrorism and firearms offenses related to a foiled plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as Reuters reports.

The jury's decision came after roughly a day of deliberation that followed a trial that took approximately two weeks.

Found not guilty were William Null, his twin brother Michael, and Eric Molitor, all of whom had been accused of involvement in a scheme in which Whitmer was to be abducted from her northern Michigan vacation property and tried for treason.

Participants in the plan, according to the allegations against them, harbored hope that the kidnapping of Whitmer would spark an armed uprising and a civil war in response to suspicions of fraud related to the 2020 presidential election and pandemic lockdowns imposed by the governor.

Back in December, Adam Fox, who led the plot against Whitmer, was sentenced to 16 years in prison, and codefendant Barry Croft Jr was sentenced to a term of 19 years, with both having been found guilty of domestic terrorism, kidnapping conspiracy, and other criminal counts.

According to prosecutors in the instant case, the Null brothers and Molitor provided aid to the plan's organizers by taking part in military-type drills and conducting reconnaissance on Whitmer's vacation home, as CBS News explained.

At trial, William Null and Molitor offered testimony in their own defense, with Null explaining that he and his brother separated from the plan once those involved began discussing how to acquire explosives for use in the plot. Michael Null, for his part, did not take the stand, and his lawyer did not question a single witness over the course of the proceedings.

William Rollstin, an attorney for the prosecution, argued that jurors should not be persuaded by the defendants' claims, saying, “If you help in whole or even in part you've satisfied the element” of the charged offense. “Was he helping him to plan? Was he helping him to prepare? The answer is absolutely.”

The announcement of the verdicts drew audible gasps from those assembled in the Antrim County courtroom, according to CBS News.

Upon hearing the outcome of the case, the defendants were said to have been in tears as they embraced their defense team and their loved ones. Judge Charles Hamlyn then declared, “You gentlemen are free to leave.”

According to the Associated Press, one of the jurors in the case walked up to Molitor and issued an apology for the ordeal he had been forced to endure.

Defense attorney William Barnett told the outlet that jurors indicated to the judge that there simply was not enough evidence to justify a finding that the men provided “material support” for the plot at issue and blasted the prosecution by noting, “[t]hey went after three peoples' lives and destroyed them for three years. I'm just lost for words. This is an emotional moment.”

Friday's acquittal of the Nulls and Molitor left the legal scorecard in the matter at five not guilty verdicts, five guilty verdicts at trial, and four plea agreements.

As Breitbart noted, liberal Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that this week's “verdicts were not what we hoped for,” and JoAnne Huls, chief of staff to Whitmer, opined that the outcome would “further encourage and embolden radical extremists trying to sow discord and harm public officials or law enforcement.”