Twins accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released from house arrest

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Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press
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Twin brothers accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will remain on electronic tethers while on bond, a judge ruled Wednesday while lifting a house arrest and curfew restriction.

Court officials confirmed District Judge Michael Stepka's order granting Michael Null and William Null – both 39 – more flexibility to work, meet with their attorneys and see other family members as they await court hearings.

The Null brothers are among 14 men facing terrorism charges stemming from what officials say was an attempted plot to kidnap Whitmer and potentially harm her.

If convicted, the men could serve sentences of more than 20 years in prison.

Defense attorneys had argued the men, who work construction jobs, did not pose a threat to the community, nor was there a risk that they would try to flee the state before facing a trial.

William Null and Michael Null face terrorism and firearms charges following an investigation into a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
William Null and Michael Null face terrorism and firearms charges following an investigation into a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The bond restrictions, and the judge's decision to ease some of them, still could be revisited and reconsidered in the future. The brothers also face hearings to determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Another Michigan judge last month threw out one of the charges against three men accused in connection with the plot to kidnap Whitmer, though the men are still headed to trial court.

Judge Michael Klaeren ruled there wasn't enough probable cause in the case against Pete Musico, 43; his son-in-law, Joseph Morrison, 26, and Paul Bellar, 22, to send charges forward for communicating a threat of terrorism.

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress.com.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Twins accused in Michigan kidnapping plot released from house arrest