Three men who were accused of planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, were acquitted of all charges Friday.
William Null, his twin brother Michael Null, and Eric Molitor were found not guilty on charges of supporting a terrorist act as well as a weapons charge. The jury began deliberations on Thursday.
Judge Charles Hamlyn told the men, “You are free to go.”
The trio was the last of fourteen men who faced charges before a state or federal court. Five men have now been cleared and nine were convicted.
Prosecutors have accused the Nulls and Molitor of taking part in military drills and traveling to Whitmer’s vacation house in northern Michigan as part of what they describe as a domestic terrorism plot. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., two key players in the case, were convicted last year of kidnapping conspiracies.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel stated that “the verdicts are not what was hoped for.”
William Barnett, the defense attorney for The Associated Press, said that a juror approached Molitor in front of the courthouse. “He expressed his deepest regrets for everything he had been through.” The man hugged him and shook his hands.
Barnett, a lawyer for the Attorney General’s Office, said: “They destroyed three people’s lives over a period of three years.” “I don’t know what to say.” “This is a very emotional moment.”
Authorities say the plot against Whitmer began in 2020 and was fuelled by government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitmer, after the plot was foiled, blamed Donald Trump. She said that he had “comforted those who spread hatred, fear, and division.” Trump referred to the kidnapping plot as a “fake” deal in August 2022.