“A Kansas Proud Boy charged in the Capitol riot has asked a judge to release him from jail due to chronic back pain – a condition, prosecutors say, which didn’t prevent him from allegedly wielding an axe handle against police outside the Capitol. William Chrestman, 47, was arrested in February along with four others connected to the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys. Photos from the Capitol riot appear to show Chrestman in tactical gear and a respirator and carrying a wooden axe handle. He faces multiple charges, including conspiracy, civil disorder and threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer. A magistrate judge initially approved Chrestman’s pretrial release – but that decision was overturned by DC District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell on February 23.”
“Since then, the U.S. Army veteran has remained in custody in the D.C. Jail. Chrestman’s attorneys have tried a number of strategies to explain his alleged actions and secure his release, including blaming former President Donald Trump. In a filing in February, Chrestman’s lawyers said he believed he had an ‘official endorsement’ from Trump to participate in the storming of the Capitol. ‘It is an astounding thing to imagine storming the United States Capitol with sticks and flags and bear spray, arrayed against armed and highly trained law enforcement. Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who had been paying attention would very much believe he did,’ they wrote” – WUSA.