NATIONAL NEWS

Man accused of supporting foiled plot to kidnap Michigan governor set to change not-guilty plea

Jun 6, 2023, 10:03 AM

FILE - This booking photo provided by the Antrim County Jail in Bellaire, Mich., shows Shawn Fix. T...

FILE - This booking photo provided by the Antrim County Jail in Bellaire, Mich., shows Shawn Fix. The man accused of supporting a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan's governor in 2020 plans to change his not-guilty plea, records show. (Antrim County Jail via AP, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Antrim County Jail via AP, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of supporting a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor plans to change his not-guilty plea, records show.

Shawn Michael Fix, 40, of Belleville, is one of five men charged with providing material support for an act of terrorism in the scheme to abduct the Democratic governor in 2020 at her northern Michigan vacation home. Police broke up the plan and Whitmer was not physically harmed.

Fix is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in Antrim County Circuit Court in Bellaire. He also is charged with possessing a firearm while committing a felony.

His lawyer and the state attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case, did not immediately respond to phone and email messages Tuesday.

Another man, Brian Higgins, pleaded guilty in March to the lesser charge of attempting to provide material support for terrorism. Three others — Eric Molitor and brothers Michael and William Null — await trial in August.

They were accused of providing key support but were not charged in the kidnapping case.

That case was handled in federal court, where four men were convicted in 2022, including ringleaders were acquitted.

Three men in a separate but related trial were convicted in Jackson County in October and are serving long prison terms.

Prosecutors said the defendants were anti-government extremists who were angered by Whitmer’s policies at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They planned to snatch the governor in the hope of triggering a civil war before the 2020 election, investigators said. But informants and undercover FBI agents were inside the group for months, leading to arrests before the scheme could be carried out.

Fix was second-in-command to Fox in a paramilitary group, prosecutors said in an October 2022 court filing. Fix participated in “field training exercises” that involved weapons handling and meetings that included talk of attacking Whitmer, storming the Michigan Capitol and taking hostages, the document said.

It said Fix claimed falsely to have been a Navy SEAL and to have a supply of weapons and a Black Hawk military helicopter that could be used in the kidnapping. Fix provided information about the location of Whitmer’s Antrim County house to Fox and others during a surveillance visit, prosecutors said.

After the plot was thwarted, Whitmer blamed then-President Donald Trump, saying he had given “comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” Last August, after 19 months out of office, Trump called the kidnapping plan a “fake deal.”

National News

A fire burns at the Warren Grove Air To Ground Range, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. in Bass River Townshi...

Associated Press

Forest fire at New Jersey military base 80% contained after overnight rain

BASS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Heavy rain overnight helped firefighters gain more control over a forest fire burning at a military bombing range in southern New Jersey. Fire officials said Wednesday that half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain fell overnight at the Warren Grove Air to Ground Range, a training facility for the New […]

24 minutes ago

FILE - Former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro speaks to the media as he leaves federal cour...

Associated Press

Ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro is released from prison and is headed to Milwaukee to address the RNC

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro was released from prison on Wednesday after completing his sentence for a contempt of Congress conviction and is expected to speak hours later at the Republican National Convention. Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump, was freed from custody […]

36 minutes ago

Associated Press

A Texas school that was built to segregate Mexican American students becomes a national park

A west Texas school built in 1909 for Mexican and Mexican American students as part of “separate but equal” education segregation was designated Wednesday as a national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally established the Blackwell School National Historic Site in Marfa, Texas, as the nation’s newest national park and the seventh […]

47 minutes ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a 2024 Prosperity Summit Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in North Las Vegas, ...

Associated Press

Nearly two-thirds of Democrats want Biden to withdraw, new AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of Democrats say President Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race and let his party nominate a different candidate, according to a new poll, sharply undercutting his post-debate claim that “average Democrats” are still with him even if some “big names” are turning on him. The new survey by […]

49 minutes ago

Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer, center left, addresses the judge while standing near defense attorney...

Associated Press

2 men sentenced in 2021 armed standoff on Massachusetts highway

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — Two men have been sentenced for their role in an armed standoff on a busy Massachusetts highway in 2021 that lasted more than eight hours and caused traffic delays during a busy Fourth of July weekend. Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer was sentenced Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court to three to five […]

56 minutes ago

An historical marker near the spot where George Washington “narrowly escaped death” years befor...

Associated Press

‘Of all the places’: Deep red Butler, Pennsylvania, grapples with Trump assassination attempt

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — On the streets of Butler, Pennsylvania, in the wake of Saturday’s assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, the same four words have been spoken again and again: “Of all the places.” Butler, home to some 13,000 people, and the county whose grand courthouse graces its square are named for a […]

2 hours ago

Man accused of supporting foiled plot to kidnap Michigan governor set to change not-guilty plea