JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – This morning a jury in Jackson County found Joe Morrison, his father-in-law Pete Musico, and Paul Bellar guilty on all charges. A triumph for state prosecutors and a big loss for the defense.
“On the count one of gang membership felonies. We find the defendant guilty. Count two, providing material support for an act of terrorism. We find the defendant guilty. Count three, weapons felony firearm. We find the defendant guilty,” a member of the jury reading the charges said.
Gang membership and providing material support for terrorist acts are both 20-year felonies and weapons felony firearm is a two-year mandatory prison sentence.
Back in 2020, prosecutors said members of the Wolverine Watchmen group made a plan to kidnap the governor. The men held gun training and other gatherings in Jackson County, all in preparation to snatch the governor from her vacation home up north. Now, in a courtroom, three of the men involved learned their fate. Musico was seen getting emotional while listening to the verdicts.
“I’m a little disappointed in how the case was presented by the prosecuting attorney,” Paul Bellar’s attorney, Andrew Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick said that all of the evidence was not presented to the jury and because of that, he believes this case is not over.
“At the end of the day, the jury has spoken. But I assure you that there will be some appellate issues in this case for sure,” Kirkpatrick said.
While a defeat for the defense, state prosecutors are pleased with the jury’s decision
“They wanted to make sure that these individuals were correctly convicted of the crimes they committed. These are the first convictions under Michigan’s anti-terrorism law and also a victory for the rule of law and the safety of all Michiganders,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.