Whitmer kidnap plotter likely to seek a plea deal ahead of trial

One of six men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is returning to court next week for a possible plea deal with prosecutors.

Ty Garbin is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing Wednesday, according to a notice filed by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker.

Ty Garbin

Messages seeking comment from Garbin's attorneys weren't immediately returned Thursday. Prosecutors declined to comment.

The FBI in October said it broke up a plot to kidnap Whitmer by anti-government extremists upset over her coronavirus restrictions. Six people were charged in federal court in Grand Rapids while eight others were charged in state court with aiding the alleged scheme.

Attorney Mark Satawa has said Garbin had no intention to carry out a kidnapping, no matter what he might have said in recorded or online conversations. A "big talk" defense had emerged last fall as a strategy for the six men.

"Saying things like, ‘I hate the governor, the governor is tyrannical’ ... is not illegal, even if you’re holding a gun and running around the woods when you do it," Satawa said in October.

The other defendants are Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. A trial has been scheduled for March 23.