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Northern Alabama man back in federal court for alleged involvement in Jan. 6 riots

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:01 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A Marshall County, Ala. man was in Washington, D.C. Wednesday appearing before a federal judge for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Joshua James, from Arab, attended proceedings in-person for a motion hearing that lasted more than two hours. The hearing took place just blocks from the U.S. Capitol where prosecutors allege James broke in on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote.

James faced charges along with 17 of his alleged co-conspirators, but only James and a few others actually appeared in-person Wednesday. The rest attended remotely. James, who prosecutors say was a member of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, is facing six federal charges, tied for the most in the group.

Only people central to the case were allowed in the room Wednesday where a federal judge heard arguments from the defense and the federal government regarding the charges against them.

The defense tried to chip away at the counts against their clients, sparring with the judge about the vagueness of certain laws being applied in this case that would carry serious punishments if found guilty.

James’ team keyed in on whether he intended to obstruct justice by allegedly deleting a relevant message thread on his phone. His team also claimed the alleged assault against an officer charge was “faulty.”

To wrap up the day in court, there was a motion to move the case out of D.C. The defense argued D.C. jury members would be prejudiced against the defendants and their support for former President Donald Trump. The judge shot back saying there is no polling data to support that and rejected some of his comments about D.C. citizens, one of which described them as against traditional values. The judge cautioned the counsel against painting with a broad brush.

The judge also said he will hold a status conference with the lawyers on Thursday, Sept. 16.

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