An accused 6 January rioter who was warned against representing himself at a bond hearing has admitted breaking into the US Capitol and trying to have a judge disqualified from his case.
Brandon Fellows, of Albany, New York, was facing a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding for allegedly breaking into the US Capitol through a broken window and smoking marijuana in Senator Jeff Merkley’s office.
Mr Fellows allegedly posted pictures of himself sitting on a police officer’s motorcycle while wearing a fake beard and USA jacket, as a mob of Trump supporters fought pitched battles with police outside the Capitol.
WUSA reported that Mr Fellows had asked US District Judge Trevor McFadden if he could self-represent, explaining he had spent two weeks in the Washington DC Jail’s library.
“I do not think this is a good idea … but I’m going to allow you to take the stand, if you wish,” the judge replied.
During a rambling speech while trying to have his bond revoked, Mr Fellows discussed a conversation with his public defender in which he’d found a “loophole” to have Judge McFadden removed from the case by contacting the judge’s family.
Mr Fellows went on to explain that he’d been able to get a judge in a previous case removed after he intentionally put down the judge’s wife as his emergency contact.
“When I’m worried, I don’t make the most understandable decisions,” the defendant said.
He also spoke of Guantanamo, the Taliban, and claimed he’d been told by a constitutional lawyer to wrap his cell phone in tin foil to avoid capture, WUSA reported.
During cross examination with a federal prosecutor, Mr Fellows admitted the original crime he’d been charged with of gaining access to the Capitol through a broken window without police permission.
WUSA reported he went on to admit two more felony crimes of using the judge’s wife’s contact information to try to get him removed from a previous case, and missing court-ordered mental health and drug testing appointments.
Judge McFadden ordered Mr Fellows remain in jail, saying he had shown “contempt for the criminal justice system”.
“You’ve admitted to incredible lapses of judgment here on the stand, not least of which was seeking to disqualify a New York state judge,” the judge continued.
More than 600 people have been charged for their roles in the 6 January riot at the US Capitol.