Michigan man pleads guilty in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot

Matthew Donnellon

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Last summer that state woke up to Michigan making national headlines, as the FBI announced they had intercepted a plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. A group of men, upset with the shut down and mask orders decided to take matters into their own hands. Now those men are awaiting trial and the verdicts are starting to come.

Just now the first domino fell for prosecutors as a Grand Rapids man just got six years for being part of the plot. Ty Garbin cooperated with federal agents and helped gather evidence against his co-conspirators and now is pleading guilty.

Garbin, as part of his agreement, told prosecutors about how the men used his property to stage their assault. They built a copy of Whitmer’s vacation home, and practiced taking it down. According to NBC News, “Prosecutors said four members of a militia group that called itself the Wolverine Watchmen joined two other men, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., in discussing the kidnapping plans and in what they called "field training exercises," which included using guns and practicing how to breach a building.”

For his help, Garbin got a reduced sentence. Originally, the government asked for a nine year sentence, but the sentencing judge gave Garbin a six year stint, Judge Robert Jonker admonished Garbin, “The Constitution is designed to ensure that we work out our fundamental and different views peacefully, not at the point of a gun, not with some other blunt force threat or a kidnapping conspiracy.”

Garbin also apologized to Whitmer and her family, “I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of stress and fear her family felt because of my actions. And for that I am truly sorry,”

Whitmer and her family were not there, and the effects of the plot still affect the governor to this day, remarking in a victim impact statement that “things would never be the same.”

She also said, ““Threats continue,” she said in June. “I have looked out my windows and seen large groups of heavily armed people within 30 yards of my home. I have seen myself hung in effigy. Days ago at a demonstration there was a sign that called for ‘burning the witch.”

Gov. Whitmer also blamed former President Trump for the escalation, calling for people to “Liberate” Michigan.

However, Whitmer remains resolute, saying that they will not deter her, “The plots and threats against me, no matter how disturbing, could not deter me from doing everything I could to save as many lives as possible by listening to medical and health experts,” Whitmer said. “To me it is very simple: this had to be the priority.”

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI
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