GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Hartland man admitted in federal court Wednesday to training and preparing other in the domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Ty Gerard Garbin, 24, of Hartland, agreed to plead guilty to an indictment that charges him with kidnapping conspiracy. In return, Garbin has agreed to cooperate with officials as they continue investigating the case.
Garbin, an airline mechanic from Hartand is the first person to plead guilty in the domestic terrorism plot against Whitmer.
His attorney, Mark Satawa, said Garbin wanted to take responsibility and in pleading guilty, the federal government agreed not to charge him with the federal offense of weapons of mass destruction.
The weapons of mass destruction charge comes from the improvised explosive devices that were a part of the plan. Dropping that charge is huge for Garbin.
“The weapons of mass destruction issue is an anvil hanging over his head, which would have resulted in a life sentence,” Satawa said.
In his plea, Garbin admits to his role in training to kidnap the governor in a violent raid on her summer home. The plea also confirms the real danger Whitmer was in.
“That factual basis lies out a real set of facts related to the allegations in this case,” Satawa said.
Satawa said Garbin was thinking about his family and took the plea deal to be reunited with them again.
“That’s why our client did what he did today,” Satawa said. “He said, ‘I got to own this. It doesn’t feel right to not do that.’ I think that was a big factor why we went in to court and plead guilty.”