(WXYZ) — The first of 14 men charged in the case to kidnap and kill Governor Gretchen Whitmer is set to take a plea deal next week.
Ty Garbin is one of six charged by the feds with kidnapping conspiracy and facing up to life in prison.
Former Federal Prosecutor and now Criminal Defense Attorney Anjali Prasad says Garbin’s plea deal could be less than ten years in prison. Only 7 Action News cameras were rolling when Ty Garbin’s home in Hartland was raided in October.
Prasad says the plot to kidnap and kill the governor is based on an anti-government mindset against Whitmer’s COVID lockdowns that is not that different than the mindset of the people who rioted the U. S. Capitol and she suggests they may be talking to each other, even though the 6 charged in the federal case remain locked up.
“Even though these individuals are detained they could have access to information that could lead law enforcement to identify individuals who were at the capitol building.”
The feds evidence against Garbin includes training for their mission on Garbin’s land in Luther near the governor’s summer home Up North.
Garbin was with other co-defendants and a confidential informant working with the feds to recruit more people during a Second Amendment gun rally in Lansing. Garbin made a video to allegedly show his co-defendants his gun safe and firepower in his home.
The feds also detail evidence that Garbin attempted to build an Improvised Explosive Device, talked about shooting up the governor’s home, offered to paint his boat black to be used for surveillance of her home, he urged “zero” public interaction if they wanted to continue with their plans and, on October 7, met with an undercover FBI agent with co-defendants to make a down payment on explosives.
Prasad says they don’t need Garbin to get a conviction of his co-defendants saying, “if I were still a prosecutor and somebody like this offered to cooperate for a lower deal, I might actually say 'no thank you'.”
Garbin’s hearing is set for Wednesday in Federal Court in Grand Rapids.
Judge Robert Jonker has set trial for March. He has put the other defendants on notice if they come in at the last minute to plead guilty, they may not get a lower sentence.