Trial date set for Schenectady man accused in Capitol riot; Attorney makes new bid for release

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. — A trial date for the Schenectady man accused of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has been set.

Also, Brandon Fellows’ new attorney has asked the judge in the case to release his client pending trial. Fellows was ordered held after committing a series of earlier violations.

Fellows, 28, a Niskayuna High School graduate, has been in custody since June 2021 awaiting trial on multiple charges related to the riot, including obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, a charge that carries a potential of years in federal prison.

In a filing this week, the federal court set Fellows’ trial date for Feb. 13, 2023, in Washington, more than two years after the riot in which Fellows is accused of taking part.

Also this week, Fellows’ new attorney, the Hawaii-based William L. Shipley, asked the court to reconsider Fellows’ detention in the case, attempting to cast doubt on the prosecution’s larger case.

Fellows had previously chosen to represent himself and disregarded warnings that what he said in court could be used against him. Prosecutors have sought to use his in-court testimony at an earlier bail hearing against him at trial.

In Fellows’ latest bid for release, his attorney attempted to cite new information as well as clarify old information.

Shipley argued that, based on information provided thus far, “the government seems to be facing a circumstance where it lacks any substantive evidence” that Fellows went to Washington that day with “intent to interfere with a congressional proceeding.”

“There is scant evidence that defendant Fellows was even aware that Congress was meeting on that day for the purpose of carrying out its function under the Twelfth Amendment …,” Shipley wrote.

On the violations that led to his incarceration pending trial, Shipley addressed several, including one in which Fellows allegedly called his probation officer’s mother, arguing prosecutors refused to consider “other non-nefarious reasons behind the call …”

If he were to be released pending trial, Shipley indicated that Fellows had a possible opportunity to live in Nashville, Tenn., with a “third-party custodian” and that person may have employment to offer, as well as a place to live.

If that did not work out, Fellows would request permission to return to living in his recreational vehicle in Schenectady, which he has historically used as his residence.

Prosecutors have been directed to respond to Fellows’ latest release bid by later this month.

Fellows 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.

He had been allowed to remain free after his January 2021 arrest but under increasingly restrictive conditions until his June 2021 re-arrest. 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, 2021, ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and comply with all treatment recommendations.

However, prosecutors reported in a new motion on June 14, 2021 that he not only skipped the mental health evaluation but attempted to intimidate his supervising probation officer by contacting the officer’s mother.

Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna


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