A Thursday court appearance seeking bond for an East Helena man accused of participating in a Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was continued, his attorney said.
Jonathan Zucker, Washington, D.C.-based attorney for Jerod Hughes, said the request has been consolidated with his brother, Joshua, and will be heard Wednesday.
Both brothers have asked to be let out on bond.
Jerod Hughes, 36, pleaded not guilty March 25 to all the charges against him and Joshua Hughes’ arraignment is set for Wednesday.
In a court document filed March 31, Joshua Hughes, 37, asked the court to amend his order of detention and to release him from custody, on conditions, pending trial.
The 18-page document states he suffers from necrosis of the scaphoid bone to his wrist and Jerod suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. Joshua has had a medical marijuana card to deal with the pain and he would turn in his card and not use it during the length of the trial.
It says the men have a tight-knit family in Helena and that Jerod’s wife suffers from debilitating intestinal cystitis.
“She is disabled and Jerod is her sole caregiver,” the motion states.
The request notes the brothers have the financial resources to make it to Washington, D.C., for any court appearances.
“If released pending trial, Josh would buy plane tickets whenever he needed to and show up wherever he needed to,” the document states.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia has said the Hughes brothers placed themselves at the “tip of the spear” that day, “actively engaged in the destruction of government property,” harassed and interfered with Capitol police and obstructed a joint session of Congress that had gathered to certify Electoral College results for the Nov. 3 presidential election in which Democrat Joe Biden ousted Republican incumbent Donald Trump. Five people died in the rioting.
However, Helena attorney Palmer Hoovestal, who represents Joshua Hughes, disputed claims his client had destroyed government property, interfered with Capitol police or obstructed certification of the Electoral College results.
"The fact of the matter is, however, that Joshua Hughes actually engaged in none of that behavior," he said.
Hoovestal said while Joshua Hughes was at the Capitol, he destroyed no property and did did not assault anyone or encourage anyone.
"He was at the wrong place at the wrong time ..." he wrote, adding that Joshua Hughes left the property when he saw what was happening "in a dream-like state of shock at the horrible nightmare he had just witnessed."
In mid-February a District of Columbia grand jury returned nine counts each against them for their alleged roles in the riot. They are being held without bail.
The most-recent filing also notes the brothers were watching the news on television Jan. 11 and learned they were persons of interest. They called the FBI hotline and were on hold for 15 minutes. When no one answered they went to the jail in Helena to turn themselves in.
The court document states they have no association with political groups of any kind and have never attended a rally for President Donald Trump. But when the president called “all patriots” to Washington, they decided to attend and then go sightseeing.
They left Jan. 3 and drove from Helena to Washington, stopping in Wisconsin and Maryland along the way. On the morning of Jan. 6 they drove to the Capitol for the rally, where Trump invited people to go to the Capitol for another rally. The brothers realized Trump was not going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and they stopped at a taco eatery.
Hoovestal said there is no evidence that Joshua Hughes came to Washington "with the intention of causing mayhem and disrupting the democratic process."
He said he does not own a firearm, was not clothed in tactical gear, nor did he have a helmet or gas mask or destroy property.
In other action, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly on Thursday issued a protective order governing discovery, which has rules on information the federal government has said is either “sensitive” or “highly sensitive.”
This includes personal identity information, confidential sources for the government, details that could jeopardy witness security and medical or mental health records.
Kelly said the defense can use sensitive or highly sensitive materials in the defense of the case. It also says the parties involved are to make a good-faith effort to resolve the case without asking the court to intervene.