Right next to a mobile home, neat piles of seven or eight tires stretch 15 feet. Beyond them are arranged wooden pallets, forming a C-shaped wall. Human silhouettes are spray painted red on some of them. They are pierced with bullet holes.
And there was a big explosion that weekend in mid-September.
“We’ve heard a big boom, a big one,” said Cliff Demos, who lives about a mile from him with his wife and horses. “It was right there,” he said, pointing the way. “It was huge. It was huge.”
The FBI says Luther’s property belongs to Ty Garbin and he, along with eight others, trained there for a possible attack.
But Garbin’s lawyer, Mark Satawa, says there is still much to learn.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Satawa said the FBI’s account for this weekend missed details of his client’s reaction and willingness to participate.
He confirmed that 24-year-old Garbin, who was accused of conspiracy to carry out the kidnapping, was at his property along with others and there was an explosion.
According to Satava, this was a turning point for Garbin.
“He had a smoke bomb in a balloon that went off his property, which quickly disavowed, took it away and said ‘we don’t do this anymore’ to the people who did it,” Satawa told Garbin, adding that he had questions about whether his client had ever been. aware of the bomb plans.
Did anyone tell them in advance that they were carrying explosives? Did Ty Garbin tell anyone, “You can’t carry explosives”? Did they do it with his consent or with his wishes or against his wishes? his knowledge or in spite of his knowledge without his knowledge? Satava asked.
But the FBI account says that two months earlier, in another exercise, Garbin had already helped Croft make a homemade bomb – at the time with a fuse. It was damaged and did not detonate, the FBI said.
The federal criminal complaint against Garbin and five others also describes a message that Garbin sent in response to an informant in an encrypted chat mentioning what a bomb with a bridge near Whitmer’s vacation home would do if they wanted to use an explosion to delay the arrival of law enforcement authorities.
Satava says that in the initial case, the government relied heavily on the paid informant. He adds that there is a general lack of trust when it comes to paid informants.
The case against the 14 men follows a months-long investigation using informants and undercover agents to gather evidence.
Luther’s weekend was crucial to building the FBI case, as after the bomb test on Saturday, the men drove for about an hour and a half to monitor Whitmer’s vacation home, the complaint said.
Satava paints a different picture. “In many ways, it was a camp,” he said. “There were fires, cooking and barbecues, so even the government’s evidence shows that only a small fraction of the people who were there were involved in the conversation (about Whitmer’s abduction).”
He rejects allegations that the men he calls “a group of boys in the woods playing an army” have carried out any plan to overthrow the government.
“Saying things like, I hate the government, I hate the president, I hate the governor, you know, even more offensive things like Whitmer is a tyrant or Whitmer is a tyrant, you know, which doesn’t mean they’re seriously planning to overthrow the government or even seriously plan to overthrow it. abducted her, put her on a boat and directed her to the middle of Lake Michigan, ”Satawa said.
Whitmer said she was shocked by the plot against her. “When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath 22 months ago, I knew this job would be difficult. To be honest, I could never have imagined anything like this,” she said on the day the charges were announced.
Satava says his client is very different from the image the audience has received. He is a petite, picky young man who takes notes and is “a little stupid,” he said.
“I’m talking about Ty Garbin and only Ty Garbin, but my client is not a crackpot. My client is not a knuckle. He is a good child. He had a good job as an aircraft mechanic at the airport.”
Satava says Garbin is close to his grandfather. “He has a very quiet and shy personality and is very nice,” he said. Satava revealed that Garbin’s grandparents were at his property the night he was attacked, along with several places in the state.
That night, October 7, the FBI arrested their grandson and five others at an alleged meeting to purchase explosives from an undercover FBI agent.
“We saw about 5% of the evidence,” Satava said.
An echo of an earlier alleged terrorist plot in Michigan
And while the prosecution is gathering evidence with undercover informants, FBI agents, videos and messages, it seems appalling, Satawa reminds everyone that a trial like the one in Michigan before did not end with convictions for the main part of the case.
The indictment says the suspects also wanted to use improvised explosive devices to attack police cars during the funeral procession. They were charged with sedition and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, among other charges.
“While this evidence could certainly lead a reasonable fact-researcher to conclude that ‘something fishy’ is happening, it does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants have reached a specific agreement to forcibly oppose the United States government,” it said. Judge Victoria Roberts her decision.
Satawa, who represented one of the defendants in Hutari, said: “The government lost and they lost a lot of time. They were just confused.” His client walked freely.
Satawa said video, informants and undercover FBI officials were also involved in the case. He points to him to say that no one should draw too many conclusions before all the evidence is seen.
“The justice system presupposes innocent people until proven guilty,” he said.
And although his client has been accused of being anti-government, Satawa says Garbin believes the justice system will work.
“He believes in the system, that the system will work for him, that the truth will come out,” Satawa said.