Jury deliberations reach day 5 in alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer

Posted at 5:27 AM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 05:27:37-04

(WXYZ) — Jurors will spend another day deliberating in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Friday marks day five of deliberations in the case against four men – all of whom could spend life behind bars if convicted.

After 32 hours, the jurors are now asking to "see the pennies," which the government said were part of a homemade bomb and supposed to be shrapnel.

As they enter day five of deliberating, the judge says they'll get to see those pennies.

It's not clear if they're close to a verdict or deadlocked, and the big question is, will they get this wrapped up by the weekend?

"Wish you all the best in your continuing work," Judge Robert Jonker said to the jury on Thursday.

In court, the defense has argued the four men were just big talkers, while the prosecution said they were dangerous men who planned to kidnap the governor.

"The government has to show these 4 defendants actually intended to follow through," former federal prosecutor Michael Bullotta said.

Those jurors will get to see the pennies prosecutors say were placed on a bomb made by Barry Croft. The makeshift shrapnel, they claim, was designed to be so hot it could go through someone's skin.

A decade ago, Bullota helped send ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to prison. In that case, the jury found Kilpatrick guilty on some charges but deadlocked on others.

"So, a Judge can take a partial verdict and seal it. And we in fact did that in the Kilpatrick trial, we took a partial verdict we sealed it. So that can happen," he said.

The public learned of that sealed verdict months later. Time will tell where they jury lands in this case.

A conviction on any court must be unanimous. Throughout this entire investigation, 14 men have been charged. Two in the federal case pleaded guilty.