Judge postpones ruling on motion to release Champaign County woman charged in Capitol riot

Chaos at the Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) – A federal judge postponed ruling on a motion to release Jessica Watkins from jail pending trial for charges related to her alleged participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Watkins’ attorney asked for a federal judge to release her from a Washington D.C. jail, and allow her to remain in home confinement in Woodstock, Ohio in Champaign County.

The attorney filed additional federal documents Monday, clarifying language in the motion for her release. The lawyer clarified that Watkins had an encounter with U.S. Secret Service, not an official meeting and that she had no official role in security on Jan. 6.

In response to the motion for release, United States Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said Watkins should remain in jail due to her being a “serious risk of flight” and her “brazen and unapologetic participation in offenses.”

“Release may be the norm, but the defendant’s actions and the beliefs that inspired her are uniquely threatening to our democratic way of life,” said Sherwin in court documents.

A letter of support was submitted by a friend of Watkins identified as Zach H., stating that she can “be trusted to return and stand trial.”

“I would argue that it is of critical importance that she be given the opportunity to return to reality and seek deprogramming beforehand,” said Zach H. “I believe that Jess can learn from her mistakes and will willingly take any punishment that she has earned, and that she is not a danger to her community.”

The judge is scheduled to rule on the motion Friday at 2 p.m.

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