Whitmer Kidnapping plot cases continue in court

Michigan

This photo provided by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office shows Joseph Morrison. Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home. According to an FBI affidavit, Morrison is one of the founding members of the Wolverine Watchmen, which authorities described as “an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group.” (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Nearly two months after their arrest, court hearings are proceeding in the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s cases against members and associates of the Wolverine Watchmen who face felony charges following law enforcement’s unveiling of an alleged domestic terrorism plot that included storming the Capitol building and kidnapping elected officials. 

A bond hearing for two defendants – William Null, of Shelbyville, and Michael Null, of Plainville, both 38 – was held Wednesday in Antrim County 86th District Court before Hon. Michael Stepka.  

Judge Stepka reduced bond for each defendant to $250,000, 10 percent surety. They are expected to make bond today and be released from custody. Both defendants are each charged with one count of: 

  • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
  • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively. 

A probable cause conference in Jackson County 12th District Court for another defendant, Peter Musico, 42, of Munith, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday. 

Other Jackson County defendants – Joseph Morrison, 26, of Munith, and Paul Bellar, 21, of Milford – have a probable cause conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18.  

Court dates are subject to change. Future court dates for Antrim County defendants can be tracked online at the court’s website, while those for Jackson County defendants can also be tracked online.  

Along with the expected release of the Nulls, defendants Bellar, Musico and Shawn Fix, 38, of Belleville, have made bond and were released from law enforcement custody. All other defendants remain in custody.  

Extradition efforts continue for one defendant, 52-year-old Brian Higgins, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. He is being extradited to Michigan from Columbia County, Wisconsin.  

An extradition hearing is scheduled in Wisconsin on Dec. 15. Once he is returned to Michigan, he will be arraigned in Antrim County 86th District Court on a 20-year felony charge of material support of an act of terrorism. 

The Attorney General’s office has charged eight men connected to the alleged domestic terrorism plot. Additional men are facing federal charges.  

More than 200 state and federal law enforcement officials  – including experts from outside of Michigan – were involved in the operation in early October. A series of search warrants and arrest warrants in more than a dozen cities around the state, including Belleville, Cadillac, Canton, Charlotte, Clarkston, Grand Rapids, Luther, Munith, Orion Township, Ovid, Portage, Shelby Township and Waterford.  

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