WASHINGTON - The Lebanon, Maine, man charged in the Capitol unrest of Jan. 6 had another status conference in a District of Columbia courtroom on Friday during which his new defense counsel asked and was granted a continuance till June 8.
In the meantime, it is expected the chief prosecutor in the case, Puja Bhatia, will begin plea negotiations with Fitzsimons and his new attorney, Natasha Taylor-Smith of the Assistant Federal Defender's office,
The former Hannaford butcher, Lebanon Cannabis Committee member and longtime 2nd amendment advocate, remains held on no bail in a DC jail.
He pleaded not guilty on all charges during an April arraignment, which came more than 10 weeks after his arrest at his Gully Oven Road home in Lebanon on Feb. 4.
After his arrest Fitzsimons spent about a week in Cumberland County Jail before being transferred to a Rhode Island Detention Center. In late March he was transferred again to the DC jail where he remains.
A 10-count indictment filed against Fitzsimons in February accuses the husband and father of one with obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds, act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, two counts of civil disorder and two counts of inflicting bodily injury on certain officers.
He was denied bail during his detention hearing on April 7 with Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
During the hearing, however, Harvey questioned Bhatia as to why no plea deal had been offered Fitzsimons.
"Why no plea deal, the government doesn't need more investigation for this case," Harvey said adding that Fitzsimons was not part of any organized violence like the Proud Boys or the Oath Takers.
"This is not a complex case," he added. "Three months in, no plea?"
Fitzsimons faces more than 40 years in jail if convicted on all counts.