TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Five defendants who are allegedly tied to the Michigan Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot are looking at a final prelim in Traverse City’s 86th District Court on Wednesday, December 7th at 1:30 p.m.
Their cases come out of Antrim County where Whitmer has a vacation home in Elk Rapids. The men involved are Michigan residents Michael Null, William Null, Eric Molitor and Shawn Fix who are charged with providing material support for terrorist acts and gun crimes. The fifth man, Brian Higgins from Wisconsin is facing the same material support charge. According to the evidence, the Null brothers also went on trips to Whitmer’s home along with Molitor.
The 86th District Court in Traverse City handles cases out of Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. Evidence against the men was first presented to Judge Michael Stepka in August and now the case is set for a final prelim in front of him. If Stepka decides that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed by the defendants, the case will move forward to trial.
Fourteen people in total were arrested in 2020 with charged relating to the kidnapping plot. Two men who have been described as leaders in the plot, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., were convicted of conspiring to kidnap the governor. Paul Bellar, Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison were also found guilty in their part to kidnap Whitmer.
Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks pleaded guilty to their charges. Two other men, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, were acquitted.
The prelim hearing for the five defendants will be held via Zoom from the Traverse City courtroom. It will be live-streamed on Stepka’s Court YouTube Channel.