Brian Higgins, accused in kidnap-plot of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, wins and loses in court

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
During today's hearing in Columbia County, Wisconsin court, defendant Brian Higgins (right) appeared by video-feed from the county lock-up.

PORTAGE, Wisc. (WLS) -- A Wisconsin judge Tuesday morning decided to extradite one of the accused kidnap-plotters of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but not immediately carry it out.

The good news-bad news decision was for Brian Higgins, among 14 men charged in the domestic terrorism case.

Higgins will be allowed to remain in Wisconsin while his attorney appeals Tuesday's extradition approval.

"Mr. Higgins is not being deported to some third-world kangaroo court," Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Todd Hepler said during a Zoom hearing. "He will enjoy all of the constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen, including due process of law."

Judge Hepler a short time later however ruled that there would be no harm to the state or public interest to keep Higgins in Wisconsin during the court appeal of his extradition approval.

The effect of the stay order is that Higgins, 52, from the Wisconsin Dells, will remain in Columbia County jail until the appeal of his extradition is decided. It is also expected that Higgins attorney, Christopher Van Wagner, will renew a request for bond to be set during the appeal process-but that court motion did not immediately come on Tuesday.