Guilty plea in alleged plot to kidnap governor

One of six men charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy, admitting that the group discussed an incredible scheme to snatch her at her lakeside vacation home and destroy a bridge to slow down police.

Ty Garbin’s guilty plea is a major catch for prosecutors, only about four months after arrests were made. His testimony could strengthen the government’s case against the others and back up evidence collected by informants and undercover agents.

Garbin appeared in federal court in Grand Rapids a few hours after a plea agreement loaded with details about the operation was filed, including his pledge to fully cooperate with investigators. There was no agreement on a sentencing range, but his assistance could help him when he returns July 8.

The FBI in October said it broke up a plot to kidnap Whitmer (D) by anti-government extremists upset over coronavirus restrictions she had imposed in Michigan. Six people were charged in federal court while eight others were charged in state court with aiding them.

In the plea agreement, Garbin, 25, of Hartland, acknowledged more than six pages of stunning allegations. He said he and others trained with weapons in Munith, Mich., and Cambria, Wis., last summer and “discussed the plan to storm the Capitol and kidnap the governor.”

The plot, he said, eventually switched to Whitmer’s second home in Antrim County.

The other defendants are Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. A trial has been scheduled for March 23.

— Associated Press


Pediatrician killed in hostage situation

A terminally ill doctor carrying “numerous” guns held an Austin medical office hostage for hours on Tuesday before fatally shooting a local physician and himself, police said.

Following a standoff that lasted more than six hours, officers entered the Children’s Medical Group building in central Austin on Tuesday night and found the suspect, Bharat Narumanchi, a 43-year-old pediatrician from Southern California, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

Nearby, officers said, they found pediatrician Katherine Dodson, 43, and a pediatrician. She, too, had been fatally shot, police said.

It’s not clear why Narumanchi targeted the office, but according to police, he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was given just weeks to live.

— Andrea Salcedo and Derek Hawkins


3 teens arrested in fire that killed immigrants

Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with a house fire in Denver that killed five recent immigrants, including two children, from the West African nation of Senegal, police said Wednesday.

Chief Paul Pazen said the suspects — two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old — were being held for investigation of first-degree murder, burglary and assault. The evidence does not indicate that the crime was bias-motivated, and police cannot release many additional details about what happened because of the ages of the suspects, Pazen said.

Shortly after the Aug. 5 fire, police released a surveillance photo showing three suspects wearing full face masks and hoodies.

Killed were Djibril and Adja Diol, along with their 22-month-old daughter Khadija, as well as relative Hassan Diol and her infant daughter Hawa Baye.

Three other people managed to escape by jumping from the second floor of the home. They were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

— Associated Press