Court Battles

Federal judge to hear case of Proud Boy alleged Jan. 6 rioter seeking release from jail

A federal judge on Wednesday set a hearing to hear a request for release from lawyers of a Proud Boys member who allegedly took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly set the hearing for Friday after lawyers for Dominic "Spaz" Pezzola, 43, argued that his imprisonment is making it difficult for them to consult with him and to review potentially relevant evidence, Reuters reported.

Attorney Steven Metcalf said Pezzola's mother and common-law wife were willing to put up a family house to secure bail.

Pezzola, who is from Rochester, N.Y., was arrested in January on charges of unlawful entry, destruction of government property and obstruction of an official proceeding. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Pezzola broke into the Capitol using a stolen riot shield and allegedly expressed a desire to kill Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and then-Vice President Pence.

He was later charged with conspiracy related to the incident along with other members of the far-right Proud Boys.

"It is alleged that Pezzola and [William Pepe] took actions to evade and render ineffective the protective equipment deployed by Capitol Police in active riot control measures, including actions to remove temporary metal barricades erected by the Capitol Police for the purpose of controlling access to the Capitol Grounds, and the stealing and purloining of property belonging to Capitol Police," the Department of Justice said in January.

Michael Scibetta, a lawyer who was representing Pezzola in January, said Pezzola's "logical thinking was" that former President Trump had "invited us down."

"The boss of the country said, 'People of the country, come on down, let people know what you think,'" said Scibetta, referring to the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the Capitol attack.

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