At three separate hearings, federal prosecutors said they’ve already had preliminary plea talks with defense attorneys, and they plan to extend formal plea offers in the next few weeks.
“We hope to have one by the end of the month,” prosecutor Cara Gardner said at a hearing for Albuquerque Head, a Tennessee man who has been charged with 10 federal crimes stemming from the Capitol insurrection. He has pleaded not guilty and has been in jail since his arrest.
Prosecutors later said they’ll also offer plea deals to two others indicted in the same case — Kyle Young of Iowa and Thomas Sibick of New York. They’ve pleaded not guilty and have also been detained, a move reserved primarily for the Capitol rioters charged with violent offenses.
Most federal criminal cases end with guilty pleas, and the Justice Department has been taking steps to start resolving some of the more than 460 cases stemming from the January 6 riot.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 3.
Brutal assault on Fanone
The attack on Fanone, a member of Washington DC’s police force, is one of the most widely publicized incidents from the siege on the Capitol by supporters of former President Trump.
Sibick, Young, Head and another man in a separate case are accused of beating Fanone on the Capitol steps. During the assault, Fanone was pulled into the crowd, beaten with a flagpole and repeatedly tased with his own taser. Rioters stole his badge and grabbed at his service gun, and some said they should use it to kill him. Fanone said he pleaded with the rioters to spare his life.
CNN exclusively obtained footage from Fanone’s body-worn camera showing the brawl. Fanone lost consciousness, suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized, according to court documents.
Since January, Fanone has become an outspoken critic of Republicans who have whitewashed the attack and blocked efforts to form an independent commission to investigate it.
Plea deals coming soon
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the case, urged prosecutors to quickly turn over any remaining videos or documents to the defense teams, so they can move forward.
“We have three people who are locked up,” she said. “So, this case is more urgent than other cases with misdemeanors and just trying to figure out which (Capitol) door somebody went in.”
A lawyer for Sibick, who was arrested first, said he was “frustrated” by the slow pace of the complex case and that he might consider moving forward before getting all discovery materials.
“I want you to have a speedy trial, but I want you to have a fair trial,” Jackson said.
Two of the roughly 460 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty so far, and prosecutors have said that senior Justice Department officials are in the process of approving more plea offers. The rioters who already pleaded guilty were not accused of any violent acts or assaulting police.