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Court returns Donohoe to NC
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Court returns Donohoe to NC

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A Kernersville man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will remain in federal detention at least into early this week as a judge contemplates a motion by the defendant’s attorney for release, but he will be in North Carolina while he waits.

Charles Joseph “Charley” Donohoe, 33, a member of the militant right-wing Proud Boys group, has been detained since his arrest March 17 but had been transferred to Oklahoma. After Judge Timothy Kelly ordered him returned to detention in North Carolina so he could better communicate with his attorney, that transfer finally began Wednesday night, defense attorney Lisa Costner of Winston-Salem said in a videoconference hearing Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Kelly had been scheduled to rule on Costner’s request for Donohoe to be released while awaiting trial, but Kelly said that a court ruling expected in the coming days in a separate but similar case may eliminate the need for him to make a ruling.

Costner agreed to Kelly’s suggestion of waiting until June 9. If the other court does not issue its ruling before then, Kelly will make a decision.

Costner has argued that prosecutors haven’t presented evidence that Donohoe committed violent acts or directed anyone to commit violence or invade the Capitol. Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice counter that text messages from Donohoe show that he was part of the planning for Jan. 6 because he communicated information from the leadership of the Proud Boys to members, and that after the riot he celebrated having taken part.

Thursday’s hearing also involved attorneys for three other Proud Boys leaders who are charged in the same indictment as Donohoe, and two expressed concerns about the volume of evidence yet to be turned over to them, partly because government investigators continue making arrests and collecting evidence.

U.S. Assistant District Attorney Jason McCullough said that federal prosecutors should make progress in the next 45 days. He said there are more than 15,000 hours of video footage as well as other information from 1,500 phones and other devices that were seized.

Kelly set a hearing for July 15 and asked federal prosecutors to try to have a timetable for when defense attorneys can expect to have been given the bulk of the evidence.

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