Three men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 were acquitted on Friday. Fox News reported that William Null, twin brother Michael Null, and Eric Molitor were found not guilty of providing support for a terrorist act and a weapon charge. Deliberations began Thursday.
“You gentlemen are free to leave,” Judge Charles Hamlyn said.
The trio is the last of 14 men to face charges in state or federal court. Nine were convicted and now five have been cleared.
The Nulls and Molitor were accused of participating in military-style drills and traveling to the area around Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan in what prosecutors have described as a homegrown terrorism plot. Key players Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were each convicted of kidnapping conspiracy last year.
A juror approached Molitor outside the courthouse and “said he was very sorry for all he had gone through,” defense attorney William Barnett told The Associated Press. “The man shook his hand and gave him a hug.”
“They went after three peoples’ lives and destroyed them for three years,” Barnett said of the attorney general’s office. “I’m just lost for words. This is an emotional moment.”
Authorities said the plot against Whitmer simmered in 2020 and was fueled by government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.