Co-leader of plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gets 16 years in prison
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The co-leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years in prison for conspiring to abduct the Democrat and blow up a bridge to ease an escape.
Adam Fox returned to federal court Tuesday, four months after he and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted of conspiracy charges at a second trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
They were accused of being at the helm of a wild plot to whip up anti-government extremists just before the 2020 presidential election. Their arrest, as well as the capture of 12 others, was a stunning coda to a tumultuous year of racial strife and political turmoil in the U.S.
The government had pushed for a life sentence, saying Croft offered bomb-making skills and ideology while Fox was the “driving force urging their recruits to take up arms, kidnap the governor and kill those who stood in their way.”
But Judge Robert J. Jonker said that while Fox’s sentence was needed as a punishment and deterrent to future similar acts, the government’s request for life in prison is “not necessary to achieve those purposes.”
“It’s too much. Something less than life gets the job done in this case,” Jonker said, later adding that 16 years in prison “is still in my mind a very long time.”
In addition to the 16-year prison sentence, Fox will have to serve five years of supervised release.
Fox and Croft were convicted at a second trial in August, months after a different jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan, couldn’t reach a verdict but acquitted two other men. Croft, a trucker from Bear, Delaware, will be sentenced Wednesday.
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