Court Battles

Jan. 6 defendant pleads guilty to assault on law enforcement after prosecutors lost track of case

Rioters outside of the U.S. Capitol building
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A man pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of assault on law enforcement with a dangerous weapon in connection with the Jan 6., 2021, attack on the Capitol, The Washington Post reported.

Lucas Denney, 44, was arrested in December after being accused of assaulting multiple police officers in the Jan. 6 attack, according to The Post. He was charged with assaulting police with a deadly weapon, engaging in physical violence and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, among other charges.

Multiple videos and photos showed Denney fighting police at the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to the newspaper, including photos of him swinging a long plastic pipe at an officer and throwing it into police lines.

Denney admitted that he assaulted police with the PVC pipe, and that it qualified as a dangerous weapon, The Post reported.

Other photos showed Denney swinging his fist and grabbing at D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, the newspaper reported. Fanone suffered a heart attack amid the riot, during which he was dragged into a crowd, beaten and shocked with his own taser.

Prosecutors lost track of Denney’s case while he was being moved from Texas to a jail in Virginia to await trial, according to The Post.

But Denney was not indicted and had no preliminary hearing until early March, almost three months since his arrest, after his lawyers filed for his case to be dismissed and for his immediate release, the newspaper reported.

“Mr. Denney,” said U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui said in a hearing, according to The Post. “There’s no excuse to treat a human being like that. It is not how I would want to be treated. And you are presumed innocent. There is no circumstance under which an accused person should be forgotten, and that is what happened here.”

Denney, a Texas native, founded the “Patriot Boys of North Texas,” a far-right militia group, according to The Post.

He faces between three and six years in prison.

Tags jan. 6 Jan. 6 attack Lucas Denney Michael Fanone

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