Feds formally seek to use bail testimony against accused Schenectady Capitol rioter

Brandon Fellows (inset) and supporters of President Donald Trump outside the Capitol Jan. 6.  FBI (INSET) AP PHOTO/JOHN MINCHILLO (BACKGROUND)

Brandon Fellows (inset) and supporters of President Donald Trump outside the Capitol Jan. 6.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal prosecutors formally moved Monday to use Capitol riot defendant Brandon Fellows’ in-court testimony at an October bail hearing against him at trial.

In the testimony from the unusual bail hearing where Fellows pressed to represent himself and disregarded warnings that what he said could be used against him, Fellows ultimately lost his bid to be released pending trial.

In the process, though, he admitted to several aspects of his Capitol riot case, prosecutors said, and they now officially want to use that in their case against him.

“The defendant admitted to going into the Capitol,” prosecutors wrote, including transcript citations. “The defendant admitted to entering the Capitol through a broken window and standing upon a splintered and smashed desk while waving a flag. The defendant admitted to entering U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley’s office. And the defendant admitted to smoking marijuana inside the Capitol building and to saying the same with CNN and other news outlets.”

Prosecutors outlined Fellows’ statements after also highlighting the judge’s warnings to Fellows, specifically if he decided to talk about Jan. 6, he may open himself up to those statements being used against him at trial.

Fellows, 27, of Schenectady, has been held since his June 15 arrest on allegations he repeatedly violated his release in the Capitol case, including that he obtained the phone number of his supervising probation officer’s mother, called her and even spoke with her. Fellows was then sent to Washington to appear before a judge there on the ultimate question of whether he would again be released.

After being ordered held, Fellows pressed again to be released, leading to October’s hearing, his self-representation and testimony.

Prosecutors filed their motion Monday. The judge then ordered Fellows to respond by Dec. 10.

He faces one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; entering and remaining in certain rooms of the Capitol building; and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

Fellows had been allowed to remain free after his January arrest but under increasingly restrictive conditions. Federal prosecutors twice earlier asked for his release to be revoked. A judge disagreed both times, but first ordered him under home detention and then, June 4, ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and comply with all treatment recommendations.

However, prosecutors reported in a new motion on June 14 that he not only skipped the mental health evaluation but attempted to intimidate his supervising probation officer by contacting the officer’s mother.

Fellows has gained the attention of both local and national media outlets. His October hearing garnered him interest from the Associated Press which noted Fellows told the judge that he used what he described as a “loophole” he had read about online to disqualify a different judge overseeing an unrelated local case in New York. Fellows said he listed a phone number for that judge’s wife as his own number in court records to make it appear that he knew the woman.

Fellows said he also asked the public defender who represented him before he rebuffed counsel in the riot case if he should try to get the federal judge replaced by contacting the judge’s family, but the lawyer warned him that would get him arrested, the AP wrote.

In denying Fellows’ bid for release, the federal judge told Fellows that he admitted to likely obstructing justice in the New York case and considering it in his riot case, the AP wrote.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

2 Comments

William Marincic

I believe everyone should be charged and tried that broke into the capital. I also believe that they should not be held without bail especially since we are releasing people that commit assaults and major drug dealers back into the streets these people are being held without bail.

Ability to pay bail shouldn’t be a factor in your release. Either you’re a threat to the community and should be held pending trial, or you should be released. Period.

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