Naples man charged in Jan. 6 insurrection activity seeking change in pretrial release

Michael Braun
Naples Daily News

A motion by an East Naples man charged for participating in the Jan. 6 capitol insurrection is seeking to modify conditions of his pretrial release before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Christopher John Worrell, 50, was arrested after FBI agents executed a search and arrest warrant at his Collier County home on March 12. Worrell, a member of the Proud Boys, is accused of attacking police officers with a pepper spray gel.

He was released from federal custody at the end of October and returned to Naples. Worrell's attorney, Alex Reed Stavrou, Sr., of Tampa, said his client was transferred from federal custody in Washington D.C. because of issues involving his medical care.

A photo included in a motion from the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia allegedly shows Christopher Worrell spraying pepper spray gel toward law enforcement officers outside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2020.

Trish Priller of Naples, Worrell's girlfriend, reached via text said Worrell's motion has yet to be ruled on.

Orders outlining the conditions of Worrell's release stipulated that he must not violate federal, state or local laws while on release, cooperate to provide a DNA sample if authorized and advise the court, pretrial services office or supervising officer in writing if he changes his residence or phone number.

Worrell's motion to modify, filed Dec. 15, sites his various medical conditions including Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, major dental issues and treatment for a hand he said was broken and not cared for properly while he was in federal detention in Washington D.C.

The motion claims Worrell has complied with the release conditions, providing a week-in-advance schedule of activities and added that the process has no flexibility.

"Any requested changes by Worrell (not on the schedule) will be denied, as Pre-trial services will not make changes outside the schedule. The undersigned (Attorney Stavrou) was advised that Pre-trial Services will only make changes pursuant to Court Order," the motion said.

Previously:East Naples man involved in Jan. 6 insurrection freed, living with GPS monitoring in SWFL

More:East Naples arrest could have connection to Capitol Riots and Proud Boys

Christopher Worrell of East Naples at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a photo included in an FBI statement of facts a federal magistrate signed March 10, 2021.

The motion said this has created a hardship for Worrell to obtain medical care due to several factors including an inability to follow through with treatment recommendations, immediate follow-ups and referrals because the schedule doesn't allow for anything but weeks-in-advance appointments, a disallowance by pre-trial of any deviations from schedule, and a requirement by Pre-trial Services for confirmation from providers that is often difficult to get.

Modification requested by Worrell includes:

  • ability to leave his home without scheduled but within confines of Court Order except for between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • he be allowed to provide "doctors notes" from providers in lieu of any other confirmation method.
Christopher Worrell, right, of East Naples, is shown during a video interview with the Turkish public broadcasting company, TRT world. The FBI revealed the information in a complaint signed March 10, 2021, by a federal magistrate. The court document also notes that Worrell was wearing a shirt with "the Fred Perry yellow and black laurel wreath insignia that is now commonly worn by members of the Proud Boys." The video was recorded at the Mercato in Naples and uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 7, 2021, the day after the Capitol riot, the complaint said.

In a response to the motion, the government suggested modifying Worrell's home detention to run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m, and loosening his GPS restrictions to allow him movement without triggering an alert for a GPS violation.

"That gives Mr. Worrell significantly more flexibility," the government response said.

Despite that, the government also said that the court should require Worrell to only leave his Naples residence for designated purposes and that he submit a schedule of outside visits, and notices of changes to that schedule , to Pre-trial Services. The government said that differs from Worrell's motion because that motion requires no information regarding his whereabouts or reasons to leave the home during the day.

"The government would still prefer to have in place an order from this Court requiring Mr. Worrell to remain on his schedule or notify pre-trial services of changes to that schedule, as the force of that order alone should compel compliance," the government response said.

Federal court activity is ongoing for Worrell. Worrell's next court activity is a status conference on March 18 in Washington D.C.

Connect with breaking news reporter Michael Braun: MichaelBraunNP (Facebook)@MichaelBraunNP (Twitter) or mbraun@news-press.com.