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Court Approves Combining Cases and Admitting Co-Conspirator Statements in Trials of Kidnap Plotters
February 17, 2023
LANSING – The Antrim County Circuit Court has approved two motions from the State in the trial of 5 co-conspirators who provided material support in the plot to kidnap and murder Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The motions, which asked that the cases be joined for trial, and that the Court allow the admission of co-conspirator statements, were granted by the Honorable Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer on February 15, 2023. The defendants all filed either objections or responses to the State’s motion to consolidate.
“These statements will provide the jury with more detail as to what happened during the commission of the crimes charged,” said Nessel. “I am grateful Judge Elsenheimer has permitted the co-conspirator's statements to be heard at trial."
The defendants, Brian Higgins, Shawn Fix, Eric Molitor, William Null and Michael Null, are all charged with one count of providing material support for a terrorist act. Fix, Molitor, William Null and Michael Null are also charged with possessing a firearm when committing or attempting to commit a felony.
The charges stem from the defendants’ actions in August and September of 2020, when the State alleges, they targeted Governor Whitmer’s northern Michigan vacation cottage and, on 2 occasions, conducted surveillance of her home.
The next court date is on March 13, 2023, when the Court will consider a motion to hear arguments pertaining to a writ regarding Kaleb Franks, an in-custody witness.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.