Whitmer Kidnapping Plot: Jurors to decide fate of Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Jr.

For the second time in four months, the fate of two men linked to the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer are waiting for a jury to decide on their guilt or innocence.

On Monday, the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments in the second trial of Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr. 

The two men are accused of crafting the plan to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 and ignite a national rebellion. This is their second trial of the year, months after a jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the pair while acquitting two others.

Criminal defense attorney Mike Rataj handles high-profile federal cases in the eastern district of Michigan. He's not affiliated with the case bu the's been watching.

"I felt that it was rushed. I mean here's two guys that are looking at life in prison," Rataj said about the second trial. 

In 2020 when Fox and Croft were among six men charged with federal crimes, Whitmer said she hoped that justice would be serviced. Today, just Fox and Croft's futures remain to be decided.

The group were allegedly outraged over Whitmer's strict Covid safety policies. They were accused of domestic terrorism in the plot to kidnap Whitmer and even her vacation home Up North, all with alleged plans to to execute her.

Two men plead guilty while two others were acquitted at trial in April. The jury was hung on Fox and Croft.

Defense attorneys cited freedom of speech and said the suspects had been entrapped by FBI operatives. Attorneys for Fox and Croft cited those same issues at the second trial.

"They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn't entrapment - and there's huge evidence of entrapment - they tried to give these guys five thousand dollars each," Croft's attorney, Joshua Blanchard said. "They put a ton of resources into making it look like our guys wanted to commit a crime." 

"We can clearly indicate to the jury some very simple ways to take apart a very complex plot hatched by the FBI to entrap my clients," Fox's attorney, Christopher Gibbeons said.

Will the defense work this time? Rataj has concerns about this trial - that a jury was seated in only one day - that defense attorneys were subjected to time limits, and that testimony in a trial of this magnitude was finished in about a week...

"Therefore I think that you may end up with a hung jury in this case," he said.

If the jury again cannot reach a decision, it will be up the government's attorneys decide on another trial.