Maine’s most seriously charged Jan. 6 riot defendant, Kyle Fitzsimons, set to stand trial

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C., (WMTW) - Kyle Fitzsimons is the first defendant from Maine who will stand trial for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, in U.S. District Court, in Washington, D.C., starting Tuesday.

Fitzsimons, 38, has waived his right to a trial by jury and will instead have his guilt or innocence decided by Judge Rudolph Contreras, who denied Fitzsimons’ request for a change of venue.

Contreras rejected Fitzsimons’ argument, also advanced unsuccessfully by other Jan. 6 defendants, that the district’s overwhelming vote in the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden over Donald Trump made seating an impartial jury impossible.

Fitzsimons faces 11 criminal charges, six of them felonies, including obstructing an official proceeding — Congress certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump — disorderly conduct in a restricted building and grounds, and most seriously, assaulting and injuring three law enforcement officers.

Those officers are expected to testify, and one of them, Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonel, spoke to CNN last year.

“I got hurt,” Gonel told CNN, without naming anyone. “They kept saying, ‘Trump sent me. We are here to take over the Capitol. We are here to hang Mike Pence.’”

Fitzsimons is one of 860 alleged rioters who have been charged by federal prosecutors.

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