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Closing arguments next in Michigan Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Jurors will hear closing arguments Friday in the trial of four men accused of a brazen conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a case built with informants, undercover agents, secret recordings and two people who pleaded guilty and cooperated.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker first took jurors through instructions about key elements of the alleged crimes.

“Deciding what the facts are is your job, not mine,” the judge said.

Only one defendant, Daniel Harris, chose to testify in his own defense. But his denial of any crime Thursday was met by an aggressive cross-examination in which prosecutors used his own words to show his contempt for Whitmer and even suggestions about how to kill her.

Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr. and Brandon Caserta declined to testify, and defense attorneys called only a few witnesses. The four deny any scheme to get Whitmer at her vacation home in fall 2020, though they were livid with government as well as restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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