MUNITH, Mich. (WXYZ) — One of the men accused of plotting terrorism in the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer is closer to freedom. A judge significantly lowered his bond Friday.
Judge Michael Klaeren of the Jackson County District Court lowered the bond for Pete Musico from $10 million to $100 thousand.
Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 26, appeared in court asking the judge to lower their bond. They are two men who lived at a property on Dunn Road in Jackson County’s Munith. Investigators called the property a training facility for men plotting terrorism and the kidnapping of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The judge delayed the hearing for Morrison so that his attorney could review more evidence. Musico’s hearing moved forward. He nodded as his attorney Kareem Johnson said that while men accused in the plot trained at his property, he was not on board with their plot to storm the State Capitol Building and take hostages.
“There was no agreement and Mr. Musico said that is a fishbowl. It's not going to happen,” said Kareem Johnson, Defense Attorney.
Musico is charged with threat of terrorism, gang membership, providing material support for terrorist acts, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. The State Attorney Generals Office argued Musico offered alternative plots.
“He was concerned about an assault on the capital because he considered it a fishbowl and could be dangerous. His plan was to find the home addresses of the various politicians and kidnap them,” said Gregory Townsend, Assistant Attorney General.
Musico’s attorney said that his client admitted to investigators he wanted to execute a citizen's arrest on elected officials, not a kidnapping.
“The special agent says, and I quote, I know you were looking at a citizen's arrest, which is completely legal. Musico: Yes,” said Johnson as he described what Musico admitted to.
“Your honor when he talks about a citizens arrest is lawful, it is not lawful to plan, surveil, to then attempt and plan to kidnap and assault the Governor of the State of Michigan,” said Townsend.
The judge said he is concerned that Musico’s disrespect of the government could lead to him disrespecting court orders to appear. However he ultimately ruled the bond should be lowered.
Musico appeared relieved when the bond was lowered. His attorney during the hearing indicated a $100,000 bond would be fair and likely allow him freedom.
If he posts bond he will be required to wear a GPS tether.