GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A 25-year-old man was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for his role in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Ty Gerard Garbin, of Hartland Township, was sentenced after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, The Detroit News reported.
Garbin, an aviation mechanic, apologized to Whitmer and her family in federal court in Grand Rapids, WWTV reported.
“I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of stress and fear her family felt because of my actions,” Garbin told the court. “And for that I am truly sorry.”
Garbin is the only one of 14 people charged to plead guilty so far, according to WWTV.
Four Michigan residents — Adam Fox, of Potterville; Daniel Joseph Harris, of Lake Orion; Kaleb Franks, of Waterford Township; and Brandon Caserta, of Canton Township — plus Delaware resident Barry Croft Jr., were also charged in federal court in connection with the alleged kidnapping plot, the News reported. They are expected to go to trial later this year, the newspaper reported.
In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker acknowledged Garbin’s willingness to cooperate with prosecutors, according to the News.
In his plea agreement, Garbin said the six men trained at his property near Luther, Michigan, according to The Associated Press. The men constructed a “shoot house” to resemble Whitmer’s vacation home and assaulted it with firearms.
Garbin pleaded guilty before the discovery phase of the hearing when his attorneys would have been able to review evidence prosecutors had collected against him, the News reported.
“But Garbin did not wait to see what his chances were of escaping accountability,” prosecutors wrote in an Aug. 18 sentencing memorandum. “He knew what he had done, knew it was wrong and took action.”
Michigan guidelines recommended a 14- to 17-year sentence for Garbin, but prosecutors asked Jonker for a nine-year prison term, the News reported. Garbin’s attorneys sought a six-year sentence.
Garbin will also be under three years of supervision after he is released from prison, according to the AP. He also must pay a $100 special assessment and a $2,500 fine.
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