Major Northern Michigan Court Case Delayed Due to COVID-19

The four men accused in a plot against the Governor will not be in court next week as originally planned – and high COVID case numbers are to blame.Null

Four men faces charges in Antrim County in connection with that plot. Prosecutors say it involves surveillance of the Governor’s vacation home and a plan to kidnap and possibly kill her. Now the preliminary hearing for Michael and William Null, Eric Molitor, and Shawn Fix is being postponed. That’s due to high COVID case numbers in the region, and safety concerns about holding that hearing face-to-face. Molitor Fix

86th District Court Administrator Carol Stocking  says, “We track the numbers every day and as we saw the numbers go so high locally, (the judge) decided that he was not going to hold an in-person prelim next week. We reached out to the attorneys to let them know it was either going to be a Zoom preliminary exam or that it would be postponed to a later date. And the attorneys decided that they wanted it in person.”

That is unusual, however. “It’s pretty rare that attorneys request that it be in person. Most of them are held via Zoom,” Stocking says. But she adds that the number of exhibits and witnesses in this case make it more difficult to conduct that hearing over zoom. She says the hearing won’t be rescheduled until COVID case numbers in the region start to fall.