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Standout coverage of trial in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attends an event on the White House campus in Washington, March 9, 2022. Whitmer did not comment directly after a jury failed to convict four men on federal charges in an alleged kidnap plot against her, but her chief of staff critical was critical of the April 8 verdict, saying that Americans are “living through the normalization of political violence.” (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

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Journalists Ed White, Michael Tarm, John Flesher, Mike Householder, Sara Burnett, Andrea Thomas, David Eggert and Amy Shafer teamed up to deliver clear, accurate coverage of the weekslong trial of four men facing federal charges in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The sharp coverage included last week’s verdict, as two of the men were acquitted and the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the two alleged leaders.

Aside from the first and last weeks of the trial,White covered the proceedings from a court audio line,particularly difficult because of the visual nature of much of the evidence,including video,texts and social media posts. He provided almost daily spot coverage,working with Central Desk editor Thomas who filed numerous APNewAlerts throughout.

Tarm was in the courtroom for the first week during jury selection and opening statements,allowing him to gather details that helped with enterprise explainers on key aspects of the trial,including the charges,the jurors, the entrapment defense and the deadlocked jury. Early in the trial,White,Tarm and Burnett provided briefs on the four defendants, and Burnett followed up the verdict with a day-after story on the polarization over the verdict.

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Booking photos show defendants tried on federal charges of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov, Gretchen Whitmer. Shown from left, a Grand Rapids, Mich., jury deadlocked on Barry Croft and Adam Fox, both of whom could face conspiracy charges again; Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted. – Kent County Sheriff and Delaware Department of Justice via AP

Flesher was in the courtroom for the closing arguments; he was joined by Eggert for the verdict to add color and depth. Video journalist Mike Householder provided several video pieces during the trial,including debriefs with White,Flesher and Tarm, and he pulled together live video from Flesher and Eggert as all sides weighed in after the verdict. The breaking news filing of the verdicts was seamless by Thomas and Shafer despite the complication of a hung jury for two defendants and a not-guilty verdict for two others.

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