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Three men charged in connection with alleged plot to kidnap Michigan's governor scheduled to go on trial this week

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

The trial of three men prosecutors allege were tangentially connected to a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer are scheduled to go on trial this week in Jackson.

Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar are facing state charges, including providing material support for terrorist acts.

They are among more than a dozen men arrested in 2020, as part of an investigation into an alleged plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer.

Among the witnesses expected to testify is Ty Garbin. He pled guilty to kidnapping conspiracy in federal court. His testimony helped convict two men on a variety of federal charges. Two others were acquitted.

The state trial of Morrison, Musico and Bellar is expected to take two weeks.

In addition to the three going on trial in Jackson this week, five others are awaiting trial on state charges in Antrim County.

Joseph Morrison, of Munith, is charged with the following:

  • Gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served as a consecutive sentence;
  • Providing material support for terrorist acts; and 
  • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.  

Paul Bellar, of Milford, is charged with the following charges:

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

Pete Musico, of Munith, is charged with the following charges:

  • Gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served as a consecutive sentence;
  • 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. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.