In Plot to Kidnap Governor, 2 Guilty Verdicts

Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. face life in prison over plans to abduct Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 23, 2022 11:09 AM CDT
In Plot to Kidnap Governor, 2 Guilty Verdicts
This combo of images shows Barry Croft Jr., left, and Adam Fox.   (Kent County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A jury on Tuesday convicted two men of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, in a plot prosecutors described as a rallying cry for a US civil war by anti-government extremists. The jury also found Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. guilty of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction, namely a bomb to blow up a bridge and stymie police if the kidnapping could be pulled off at Whitmer's vacation home, per the AP. Croft, 46, a trucker from Bear, Del., was also convicted of another explosives charge. Both face life in prison, per MLive. It was the second trial for the pair after a jury in April couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. Two other men were acquitted and two more pleaded guilty and testified for prosecutors.

  • Prosecution: The result was a victory for the government following the mixed outcome last spring. "You can't just strap on an AR-15 and body armor and go snatch the governor," Assistant US Attorney Nils Kessler told jurors. "But that wasn't the defendants' ultimate goal. They wanted to set off a second American Civil War, a second American Revolution, something that they call the 'boogaloo.' And they wanted to do it for a long time before they settled on Gov. Whitmer."
  • Defense: The men's attorneys tried to put the FBI on trial, repeatedly emphasizing through cross-examination of witnesses and during closing remarks that federal players were present at every crucial event and had entrapped the men. Fox and Croft, they said, were "big talkers" who liked to smoke marijuana and were guilty of nothing but exercising their right to say vile things about Whitmer and government. "This isn't Russia. This isn't how our country works," Croft attorney Joshua Blanchard told jurors. "You don't get to suspect that someone might commit a crime because you don't like things that they say, that you don't like their ideologies."
(More Gretchen Whitmer stories.)

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