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Attorneys begin closing arguments in Whitmer kidnapping plot trial in Jackson County

kidnapping plot.jpg
Courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office For The Western District Of Michigan
A training exercise involving the men accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Closing arguments will stretch into a second day for the trial of three men accused of helping in the plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

The state has charged Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar with providing material support for a terrorist act, among other charges.

Andrew Kirkpatrick is the defense attorney for Bellar. He told jurors yesterday that Bellar said scary things in a group chat, but he wasn’t serious about the kidnapping plans.

“His mind is thinking, ‘eh you know we said a lot of crazy stuff,' which they did. ‘We put a lot of crazy stuff on the wire,' which he did. 'I said a lot of crazy stuff here and there,' which he did. But he’s not being charged with any of that stuff. None of it.” said Kirkpatrick.

Prosecutors will have a chance to rebut the defense attorney’s closing arguments this morning, then jurors will get instructions before starting deliberations on the case.

Dustin Dwyer is a reporter for a new project at Michigan Radio that will look at improving economic opportunities for low-income children. Previously, he worked as an online journalist for Changing Gears, as a freelance reporter and as Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. Before he joined Michigan Radio, Dustin interned at NPR's Talk of the Nation, wrote freelance stories for The Jackson Citizen-Patriot and completed a Reporting & Writing Fellowship at the Poynter Institute.