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Judge sets May for possible trial of ‘Proud Boys’ facing Jan 6 riot charges By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. A police officer who is a riot cop stands by during the rally to support the defendants in the attack on Washington’s Capitol. This was in Washington, U.S.A, September 18, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Tuesday set May 18 as a tentative date for the start of a trial of four men allegedly affiliated with the “Proud Boys” movement on charges stemming from their participation in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

U.S. district Judge Timothy Kelly indicated that May was the best time to start a trial in a Washington D.C. courtroom, often used for ceremonial purposes. The possibility of having a trial lasting four to six weeks was discussed by the judge with the defense lawyers.

Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs as well as Zachary Rehl (all four of whom are facing trial) remain in pre-trial care. Multiple unsuccessful attempts by defense lawyers to secure their bail release have failed. Another status hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 26.

Proud Boys were one of three right-wing militia organizations targeted by prosecutors because of their participation in the riot started by Trump supporters during Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s election win. Last week, more than 600 people were arrested for riot-related offenses.

On Jan. 6, the four defendants in the May trial were captured leading a group of people towards the Capitol. According to court documents, the U.S. government claimed that they were involved in the Capitol break-in. They dispute these charges.

According to a defense lawyer, videos from FBI showing Nordean (alleged leader of Proud Boys Jan. 6), telling group members marching toward Capitol were a photo op, and only spending a few seconds at it before they turn around.

One person was killed in a police shooting and three were injured during the riot. The Capitol Police officer, who was attacked by protestors, died on the next day.

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