Advance Notice: Briefs

Another defendant in anti-Whitmer terrorist plot case makes bond

By: - November 17, 2020 1:21 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives an update on COVID-19 | Gov. Whitmer office photo

The prosecution against the eight men who are facing domestic terrorism charges for an alleged plot to storm the state Capitol building and kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continued on Friday with a bond hearing for two of the defendants, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.

Self-described militia members planned to televise Whitmer’s execution, according to court filings reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Two defendants — Joseph Morrison and Paul Bellar — appeared in Jackson County 12th District Court Friday. Bellar was released from custody after he made bond, which was reduced to $75,000 cash/surety, according to the press release. Morrison’s bond was reduced to $150,000 cash/surety and he remains in Jackson County Jail.

Both Morrison and Bellar are scheduled to be in court for a probable cause conference at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18.

Morrison is being charged with threat of terrorism, gang membership, providing material support for terrorist acts and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to the press release. Bellar is being charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, gang membership and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. 

Two other defendants — Shawn Fix and Pete Musico — have also made bond and were released from custody. Another defendant — Brian Higgins — is being extradited to Michigan from Columbia County, Wisc. Once he is returned to Michigan, he will be arraigned in Antrim County 86th District Court on a 20-year felony charge of material support of an act of terrorism, the press release said.

The remaining defendants — Eric Molitor, William Null and Michael Null — will stay in custody in Antrim County, as additional court dates have not been scheduled. 

“As the cases remain pending, the Attorney General’s office will not provide additional information or details unless as part of official court documents,” the press release said. 

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Katie O'Brien Kelley
Katie O'Brien Kelley

Katie O'Brien Kelley is a Michigan State University graduate with degrees in journalism and theatre. She was previously a reporter, editor and podcast coordinator at The State News — Michigan State's award-winning student paper. As a reporter there, she covered the university's administration, including its mishandling of reports against former doctor Larry Nassar's abuse, as well as academics and student experiences. She was also previously an intern at the Lansing City Pulse.