GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – A sealed federal court filing says a juror in the second Gov. Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping trial told co-workers about hoping to be selected for jury duty. In addition, the juror boasted about a predetermined decision in the case to ensure a particular verdict.
Joshua Blanchard, the defense lawyer for accused kidnapping ringleader Barry Croft, leveled the allegation late Thursday.
The allegation surfaced after the second day of testimony in the case against Croft and alleged co-conspirator Adam Fox. They are accused of trying to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 and put her on trial for treason.
The report reads, in part, “The timeline reported matches the timeline of jury selection in this case and the reporting party had apparent credible identifying information regarding the juror which lent credibility to the assertions,” Blanchard wrote.
It is unclear from the court filing whether the juror supports the government’s case or sides with the defense. The trial started with 12 jurors and six alternates but one juror was dismissed this week due to an illness and replaced by an alternate.
The Detroit Free Press reports the alternate’s relative has admitted smoking marijuana with Fox during a chance encounter near the governor’s vacation home. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker discussed the new misconduct allegation with prosecutors and defense lawyers before deciding the trial would continue while a clerk investigated.
The trial started Tuesday, four months after jurors acquitted two accused members of the plot and deadlocked on charges against Fox and Croft. State charges are pending against 10 men. Two others pleaded guilty.