Governor Gretchen Whitmer releases impact statement as 1st man is sentenced in kidnapping plot


FILE – This file photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, shows Ty Garbin. Prosecutors preparing for the first prison sentence in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are loudly signaling to five other defendants that a key insider has shared extraordinary details about the operation. Garbin, one of six people charged in federal court, cooperated within weeks of being arrested and prosecutors want a U.S. District Judge to take it into consideration Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, when he sentences Garbin for conspiracy. (Kent County Sheriff via AP File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) – The first man in the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer is set to be sentenced in federal court.

Ty Garbin, a 25-year-old airplane mechanic, is the only federal defendant to plead guilty in the plot; the five others are awaiting trial.

Garbin faces 6 years and 3 months in federal prison.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wrote an impact statement on the plot, citing hateful rhetoric and the new dangers that the plot presented.

Garbin cooperated within weeks of being arrested, willingly putting a “target on his back to begin his own redemption,” the government said in a court filing. The government is calling for a 9-year prison sentence.

A long stretch, but one that would be even longer if he had not assisted investigators after being charged.

“Second, he confirmed that the plot was real; not just ‘big talk between crackpots,’ as suggested by co-defendants. Third, he dispelled any suggestion that the conspirators were entrapped by government informants,” the prosecutor said.

Governor Whitmer’s impact statement can be read below:

“My gratitude for the brave law enforcement officers of the Michigan State Police and the FBI is enormous. But even now we have not reached the far shore,” Whitmer wrote in the statement, portions of which were released Wednesday by a spokesman.

“Threats continue. I have looked out my windows and seen large groups of heavily armed people within 30 yards of my home. I have seen myself hung in effigy. Days ago at a demonstration there was a sign that called for ‘burning the witch.’ For me, things will never be the same.”

In her statement, Whitmer thanked Garbin for “taking responsibility, accepting the consequences of his actions and assisting in bringing others to justice.”

“The plots and threats against me, no matter how disturbing, could not deter me from doing everything I could to save as many lives as possible by listening to medical and health experts. To me it is very simple: this had to be the priority,” Whitmer said. 

“Kidnapping plots and death threats endanger not just individuals but democracy itself. We must hold those who resort to threats and violence accountable. We can no longer ignore the hate and bloodshed within our borders,” Whitmer said. 

“We must find a way to come together again. This requires forgiveness of those who have become victims themselves of misplaced anger, hate, disinformation, and a misunderstanding of our democracy.” 

“I am not the only one who has been impacted by this kidnapping plot. It is like throwing a pebble into a pond. The ripples expand to include my family and loved ones, the state I love, the citizens I serve, the country I have always believed in and the idea of democracy itself. We have all been impacted by this,” Whitmer said. 

“To recover, we must travel a new path. The road ahead is full of obstacles and challenges, but it is lit by justice, truth, and the idea that there is little we cannot accomplish together. We are changed but we are not broken.”

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