Juror dismissed from Michigan governor kidnapping case accused of flirting with defendant
- A juror was accused of flirting with a defendant charged in connection with the plot to kidnap Michigan's governor.
- The female juror was relieved of her duties after "smiling" and "eye contact" between the two.
A juror has been dismissed after she was accused of flirting with a defendant in the trial of three men in connection with the 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The female juror has been relieved of her duties after William Rollstin, an attorney prosecuting the case on behalf of the Michigan attorney general, said there has been "communication in the form of eye contact" and "smiling" between her and defendant Paul Bellar, according to the Jackson Citizen Parrot.
"It didn't just happen on one day — it happened over multiple days," Judge Thomas Wilson told the local news outlet, adding, "I decided it's safer to err on the side of caution."
He said in his almost 35 years of experience in law, he had not seen behavior like this, per the Jackson City Parrot.
Others in the court, including defense attorneys, also said they had witnessed interactions between the two, said the Jackson City Parrot.
Bellar, 23, is standing trial in Michigan state court with co-defendants and fellow Wolverine Watchmen members Joseph Morrison and Pete Musico.
They are accused of three crimes, including providing material support for terrorist acts, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, according to AP, after members of the so-called Wolverine Watchmen militia were accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.
In an affidavit relating to the allegations against Bellar, Detective Sergeant with the Michigan Department of State Police Brian Russell states that he "provided plans for tactical maneuvers at training, coded language for covert communication, hosted meetings at his residence, provided ammunition, and coordinated logistics for training contrary to MCL 750.543k."
The three men have pleaded not guilty, saying an FBI informant entrapped them, AP reports.
In August, two other men, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted in the plot, in which they sought to kidnap Gov. Whitmer from her vacation home.
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