Trial for East Naples man accused in Jan. 6 mob again delayed, attorney denied withdraw
Trial again delayed for East Naples man accused in 2021 insurrection
The trial for a Collier County man facing charges in the January 2021 riot in the U.S. Capitol has again been delayed by a month, the second instance in less than two months.
The trial for Christopher Worrell, of East Naples and a member of the Proud Boys, is scheduled to begin March 13 before U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.
Lamberth also denied a Jan. 26 withdrawal motion from Worrell's current attorney, Joseph Allen. Court officials denied the withdrawal to avoid another delay and determined "it was otherwise not in the interests of justice."
Prior:Two years since Capitol mob: Trial date set for East Naples man, lead attorney out
Video played at Congressional hearing:Video of Naples man arrested in Jan. 6 Capitol attack played at Congressional hearing
First public comment:Chris Worrell makes first public comment on Jan. 6 role, says he's a 'political prisoner'
On Feb. 1, William Shipley, co-counsel for Worrell, filed a motion asking the court to reconsider Allen's denial. The court on Feb. 13 reversed and approved Allen's motion. The Daily News couldn't reach Shipley for comment before publication.
A receptionist for Allen's office said he's in court and couldn't provide his next availability.
More than 950 people have been charged for their roles in the riot. Roughly 350 suspects remain on the FBI's wanted list of violent offenders at the Capitol that day.
Prior, Worrell's trial was scheduled Nov. 15. Court records indicate the court postponed the trial nearly two months after Worrell argued he was medically unable to proceed.
In January, Lamberth wrote that Worrell didn't include medical documents and failed to respond to the government's proposed date with specific arguments that would make him medically unable to stand trial.
The same day, the lead attorney in the case at the time, Alex Reed Stavrou, of Tampa-based Alex R. Stavrou Law Office, filed a motion to withdraw from the case. Lamberth approved that motion.
Worrell is accused of attacking police officers with pepper spray gel during the Jan. 6 incident.
Federal agents executed a search and arrest warrant at his Collier County home and took him into custody in March 2021.
A video aired during the June 9 hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee, one of a number that have been aired, appeared to show Worrell and others accused of storming the building, attacking police officers, breaking building windows and wreaking other damage at the Capitol.
Other videos aired showed several views of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot and videoed interviews, including former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, former President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and General Mark A. Milley, the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Worrell's segment in the House committee's 11-minute-and-18-second video ran about 10 to 12 seconds.
In the segment a man identified as Worrell can be heard saying, "We are on your side," "Don't make us go against you," and "These are our streets."
On the two-year anniversary's eve, Worrell's Tampa-based attorney, Alex Stavrou, announced his withdrawal from the case.
Worrell pleaded not guilty to all the original charges. He faces 19 charges, with those in original indictment including:
- Civil disorder
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon,
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon,
- Engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon,
- Act of physical violence in the capitol building or grounds, and
- Assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon.
The indictment also added Daniel Scott of Bradenton as a defendant.
In April, Worrell made a tearful plea to Collier County commissioners at a regular meeting, calling himself a "political prisoner" whose civil rights have been violated when he was charged for his role in the incident.
The appearance was the first comment he had made in public after his release from federal custody to home detention late last year, citing medical conditions and the need for specialized treatment.
At the time of that appearance, his girlfriend and court-approved custodian Trish Priller, who used to work for the Naples Daily News, said Worrell is under a curfew and is allowed to leave the house.
The Daily News couldn't reach Priller for comment before publication.
Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Connect with him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran, Instagram @tomasfrobeltran and Facebook @tomasrodrigueznews.