More than 10 weeks after arrest, Fitzsimons arraigned, pleads not guilty

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Picture of Kyle Fitzsimons taken prior to his visiting Capitol on Jan. 6 (Courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON - The Lebanon, Maine, man charged in the Capitol unrest of Jan. 6 was finally arraigned on Thursday more than two and a half months after his arrest.

Kyle Fizsimons, 37, who is being held on no bail, pleaded not guilty on all charges. He will next be in court for a status conference on May 7 during which more info about a potential plea deal might come to light.

Thursday's and next month's court sessions are both being presided over by Judge Reggie B. Walton, who allowed the exclusion of time between the two hearings to be exempt from speedy trial obligations.

Fitzsimons was arrested on Feb. 4 in Lebanon and waived his right to detention and probable cause hearings in Portland on Feb. 11. He was then transferred to a Rhode Island Detention Center until late March when he was transferred again to the DC jail where he remains.

A 10-count indictment filed against Fitzsimons in February accuses the husband, father of one and former Hannaford butcher 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 a detention hearing on April 7 with Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling that the totality of the evidence against Fitzsimons showed his demeanor on Jan. 6 at the Capitol to be "menacing" and "intimidating," which showed him to potentially be a danger to the community.

"The video shows me what you did that day," Harvey said. "I saw violent assaultive conduct on your behalf against the officers in that police line. You show us someone who has a passionate belief who can lose control and become violent like a bomb waiting to go off."

In arguing Fitzsimon's case for bail, public defender Greg Hunter pointed out that his client had no criminal history except for a DUI more than a decade ago and an invalid auto registration a couple of years ago.

He also said surveillance and body cam video of Fitzsimons' conduct on Jan. 6 did not convincingly show whether Fitzsimons had attacked Capitol police or he was pushed toward police and was defending himself.

But Harvey disagreed and said it showed him well enough that Fitzsimons' conduct that day was violent.

Harvey, however, also pointedly questioned the prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Puja Bhatia, asking her 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 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.

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