Court Battles

Man who plotted to kidnap Michigan governor sentenced to more than 6 years in prison

A man who plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was sentenced to more than six years in prison on Wednesday.

Ty Garbin, 25, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison, three years of probation, and a $2,500 fine by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker for his role in the plan to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home, according to NBC News.

Garbin, from Hartland Township, Mich., signed a plea agreement in January in which he admitted to helping put together a plan to kidnap Whitmer and wipe out a bridge to hamper efforts by pursuing law enforcement.

He also confessed that he and other suspects trained with weapons in Michigan and Wisconsin and said the group initially “discussed the plan to storm the Capitol and kidnap the governor” before deciding to target her at her vacation home.

Government lawyers said Garbin cooperated substantially with their probe and supplied “a wide-ranging insider’s view of the conspiracy,” according to NBC News.

The sentencing guidelines called for up to 17 ½ years in prison, according to NBC News. Garbin and the government, however, reportedly encouraged the judge to take note of his cooperation with the investigation.

Garbin apologized to Whitmer and her family at his sentencing hearing.

“I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of stress and fear her family felt because of my actions. And for that I am truly sorry,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

The alleged participants in the plot were allegedly frustrated by the COVID-19 restrictions Whitmer implemented to help curb the spread of the virus.

Garbin’s lawyer said he became particularly upset by the policies when he saw his income fall as a mechanic, NBC News reported. He then reportedly looked for other people online who felt the same way and found the Wolverine Watchmen, a militia group that four of the other people accused in the plot are part of.

Garbin is the first person to be sentenced to prison in connection with the case. He is also the only person, out of more than a dozen men charged in the case, to plead guilty.

Five other men have been charged in federal court in connection with the case, according to NBC News.

“It was a good day for the client and the client’s family,” Garbin’s attorney Mark Satawa told The Hill on Thursday.

“The judge had a good day, I think he captured the case perfectly and really balanced all the factors,” he added.

Whitmer, in her victim impact statement read by the judge during the sentencing hearing and later shared with The Hill, acknowledged Garbin for “taking responsibility” and “accepting the consequences” of his actions, in addition to “assisting in bringing others to justice.”

She added said the past 18 months have “taken a toll” on her and others.

“But this is bigger than me. It has taken a toll on my family, the community, the state, the nation, and democracy itself. No one has been untouched by the crisis that has plagued us,” she added.

The governor said the plots and threats against her were “terrifying enough that if I could have, I would have shielded my family and friends from them.”

“But even now we have not reached the far shore. Threats continue. I have looked out my windows and seen large groups of heavily armed people within thirty yards of my home. I have seen myself hung in effigy. Days ago at a demonstration there was a sign that called for “burning the witch”. For me, things will never be the same,” she added.

Updated 10:09 p.m.

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