Pretrial Services says that a Florida man accused of spraying chemicals on police guarding the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has violated the terms of his pretrial release, and the judge overseeing the case wants answers.
Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth issued an order Wednesday demanding that Christopher Worrell’s attorneys provide an explanation and response to the allegation that Worrell violated a condition limiting his use of electronics, particularly a personal computer or the internet.
Worrell is accused of assaulting police with chemical spray during the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, when hundreds of Donald Trump supporters overran police and broke into the building in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
“Before the Court is Pretrial Services’ violation report ,” Lamberth wrote in the order. “Pretrial Services alleges that defendant and his custodian violated the condition of defendant’s release that he not access a personal computer or the internet.”
The Pretrial Services report is apparently docket entry 135, which had not been made publicly available at the time of publication of this story.
“Defendant and his custodian shall file a response on or before January 14, 2022, explaining what occurred and what steps they have taken to ensure future compliance with defendant’s conditions of release,” Lamberth’s order also said.
The order did not provide additional details about how Worrell allegedly violated his pretrial release conditions.
Worrell, allegedly a member of the Proud Boys extremist group, had been detained from when he was arrested in March 2021 until November 2021, when Lamberth first granted him pretrial release. One of the conditions of release was that Worrell “not access the internet, including social media and email, except for use with his legal defense team or as authorized by Pretrial Services.”
Worrell was also ordered not to use encrypted messaging applications, not to have any contact with other people or organizations involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, not to correspond with any news media organization, and not to directly or indirectly publicly comment on his case.
In December, Lamberth, a Ronald Reagan appointee, granted Worrell’s release conditions to allow him to travel for medical treatment without notifying authorities. Worrell has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that generally develops in the lymph nodes. With appropriate treatment, it is curable in many cases.
Worrell had been seeking treatment while being held at the D.C. jail. Although Lamberth found in June that Worrell’s complaints of inadequate medical were without merit, Lamberth found two jail officials to be in contempt of court in October for failing to comply with an order to provide medical notes about Worrell’s condition.
Lamberth’s December order also placed Worrell under a curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and said that Worrell must get permission for any other travel. The prohibition on internet access, email, and other communications remained.
Worrell’s custodian is Tricia Priller, who has been identified in reports as Worrell’s girlfriend. She is behind an online fundraiser for Worrell on GiveSendGo, which describes itself as the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site”; it has become a go-to platform for those looking to get financial support to Jan. 6 defendants, who multiple fundraising campaigns refer to as “political prisoners.”
On Monday, Priller posted to the fundraising page that Worrell has not received cancer treatment.
“The restrictions they have Chris on do not allow for immediate Dr appointments as they have to be scheduled and approved by pretrial services,” she wrote. “Last week Chris finally got to his first Oncologist appointment after being home for 2 months because of the bullshit restrictions and approvals needed.”
“They are still blatantly ignoring due process and his civil rights,” she also said.
Read the court’s order, below.
[Images via FBI]
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