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Judge lowers bond for one of the men charged in alleged Whitmer kidnapping plot

screenshot of hearing in Jackson County District Court

A Jackson County judge lowered the bond amount today for one of the 14 men charged in the alleged plot to kidnap the governor.

The bond amount for Pete Musico had been set at $10 million. It’s now set at $100 thousand. 

Musico’s attorney, Kareem Johnson, argued Musico didn’t agree to be part of the alleged plot to kidnap the governor, and wasn’t part of the discussions after July.

“He got kicked out of the group because he was too damn soft,” Johnson said at the bond hearing for Musico. “They kicked him out of the group because he was too soft and would not commit to violence.”

The Michigan Attorney General’s agreed that Musico pushed back on the plan put forward by another alleged conspirator, Adam Fox.

Fox is one of six men charged in federal court over the alleged plot.

But assistant Attorney General Gregory Townsend argued just because Musico disagreed with Fox doesn’t mean he’s not a threat.

“Your honor, I would indicate the defendant Musico came up with his own plan,” Townsend argued in the bond hearing. “He was unhappy at certain times with Adam Fox’s plan, which was called plan A. Mr. Musico came up with his own.”

Jackson County judge Michael Klaeren ultimately decided Musico is eligible for bond, saying a $100,000 bond would give a bondsman enough “skin in the game” to ensure Musico appeared for future hearings, if he is released from jail. Musico attended the hearing via Zoom and appeared to cry when the judge announced the decision.

If Musico is released, Klaeren says he will be required to wear a GPS tether so the court can track his movements at all times.

A number of the other men charged in state court over the alleged plot had bond set at $250,000.

Five of the men charged in federal court were denied bond last week, and will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshalls. 

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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