Thursday, January 4, 2024

Sumpter Township man sentenced in plot to kidnap governor

A Sumpter Township man will spend 3 to 20 years in prison for his part in a failed attempt to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Shawn Michael Fix, 41, entered a guilty plea to involvement in the kidnap plot along with a co-defendant, Brian Higgins who was sentenced to 36 months on probation for his part in the plan.

After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the pair admitted to providing material support to an act of terrorism by helping to locate and surveil the governor's vacation home as part of the 2020 plan to kidnap Whitmer.

During a sentencing hearing Dec. 7 before Antrim County Circuit Court Judge Charles Hamlyn, the pair apologized to Whitmer prior to hearing their respective sentences.

Higgins attorney, Michael Naughton of Traverse City, told the court in a sentencing memorandum that Higgins has suffered multiple mental breakdowns while the legal proceedings advanced through the court system and had attempted suicide on multiple occasions. Fix had been incarcerated for 217 days.

Hamlyn said Higgins' probation will focus specifically on mental health and trauma.

The judge said the actions of Fix implied he wanted to be involved in the plot, including hosting meetings at his rural Sumpter home and participating in military-style drills.

Three of Fix's and Higgins' co-defendants were found not guilty in the same court after a jury trial in September.