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Arguments start Wednesday in trial of three men charged with assisting Whitmer plot

Opening arguments are scheduled Wednesday in the trial of three men charged with plotting to kidnap and potentially execute Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A jury was seated Tuesday to hear the case against Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar, who are charged with various counts, including providing material support for a terrorist act. All three were members of a paramilitary group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, which trained in Jackson County.

Paul Bellar, Joe Morrison & Pete Musico

The charges were filed in state court by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

After a first trial in which two defendants were acquitted, a second trial convicted two others on federal charges in the plot. Meanwhile, two others have pleaded guilty for their roles. Among them is Ty Garbin of Hartland Township, whose sentence was reduced for his cooperation in testifying against his co-defendants.

Morrison, Musico and Bellar claim they were entrapped by an undercover informant and his FBI handlers, the same defense used in the previous trials.


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