GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A man who pleaded guilty to plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took the stand to testify against the four others charged in the plot
As part of Ty Garbin’s guilty plea to a lesser charge, he testified about the men he allegedly plotted with to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the days before the 2020 election.
On direct examination, Garbin, 26, from Livingston County, told jurors the plot to kidnap Whitmer was to be the event that started a second civil war. Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta, Daniel Harris, and Barry Croft have all been charged in the plot and are standing trial.
Garbin gave specifics of the training sessions at several locations leading up to their arrests in October of 2020. They would build shoothouses to simulate rooms in the state capitol and the governor’s vacation home -- until they decided kidnapping her from the Capitol wasn’t feasible.
Garbin testified about twice surveilling her house in Elk Rapids, trying to raise $4,000 to buy an explosive to blow up a bridge to aid in their escape. But as the 2020 presidential election neared, there was a concern of Whitmer possibly being appointed to then-candidate Joe Biden’s cabinet if he won. That would increase the security around her.
They determined that they had to be ready at a moment’s notice to try and kidnap her and then either set her adrift in Lake Michigan or execute her, according to Garbin.
Over time it became a group that spoke in encrypted group chats about kidnapping Whitmer, sparking a civil war, destroying police cars, and disrupting the presidential election.
Garbin testified about the men planning robberies to get the weapons they needed. That included tactical gear like bulletproof helmets, bulletproof vests, explosive devices, night vision goggles, AR 15s with grenade launchers, and more.