The judge presiding over one of the Gretchen Whitmer kidnap trials said he is concerned that a juror is flirting with one of the three defendants, 22-year-old Paul Bellar. A prosecutor complained to Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson that Bellar appears to be flirting back with the woman. He said the two are smiling and nodding at each other, and that Bellar shook his fists in a positive way when they looked at each other. Bellar's attorney said his client was shaking his fists with excitement because it was his birthday, and he was holding Skittles candy.
From Detroit Free Press:
"The shaking of the fist is because of Skittles …. 'cause guess what? It's his birthday today," defense attorney Andrew Kirkpatrick said, adding that his client is behaving himself.
"I have noticed her kind of looking. He knows. But he's not winking at her. He's not doing anything to encourage her," Kirkpatrick said. "I don't think that's a basis to get rid of this juror. … Maybe she likes him — maybe she doesn't. There's no way of telling what's in the juror's mind."
"I see her looking directly at your client, and a number of times I've seen smiles coming out of her face. It's enough that it's drawing my attention," the judge told the defendant's lawyer. "I'm going to be paying close attention… I don't know if I'm going to kick her off or not."
The Free Press reports that Bellar and his two co-defendants are charged with "providing material support for a terrorist act, including kidnapping the governor and killing law enforcement. They were members of the Wolverine Watchmen, a self-described militia group that trained near Jackson."