Court Battles

Proud Boy charged in Capitol riot gets coronavirus while jailed

A member of the Proud Boys that was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol contracted coronavirus while in jail.

Attorneys for Christopher John Worrell made the disclosure in an effort to appeal a decision from a U.S. District Court last month rejecting Worrell's bid to be released pending trial.

Worrell was arrested in March for using pepper spray against a police officer that was guarding the Capitol during the riot.

His attorneys argued that he was at higher risk for COVID-19 because he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a white blood cell cancer that imparts the immune system.

Worrell would "suffer irreparable harm as both a COVID-19 and cancer patient as 'certain and great' and 'beyond remediation' unless he is conditionally released to house arrest with the privilege of attending oncology appointments and receiving necessary medications and treatment," his attorneys wrote in a court filing in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Worrell's attorneys further claimed he had not received treatment for his cancer since he was detained on March 12 and that he began developing symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on March 20.

The lower court rejected Worrell's bid for release, noting that Worrell was seen at the Capitol without a mask, and questioned how he was unable to receive treatment. The court also pointed out that while he was being arrested, Worrell allegedly threatened the witness who tipped off the bureau.

"Given the pandemic and acute danger to Mr. Worrell, his continued detention amounts to impermissible pretrial punishment," the attorneys said. "The Government's interest in securing his appearance at trial does not outweigh his liberty interest in remaining alive and free from harm."

This isn't the first time an alleged rioter disclosed a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Bruno Cua, 18, was granted pretrial bond and released form prison last month after he contracted the virus while in prison.

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