A Dunnellon woman facing federal charges alongside her husband in connection to their alleged storming of the Capitol will be allowed to stay home as her case proceeds in court.
U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta on Friday, March 26, ordered Connie Meggs to be released from custody and appear for her April 6 hearing, according to filings with the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.
Meggs will be restricted to her house for 24 hours, unless she has a court hearing or has a medical emergency, Mehta ordered, and she must wear a GPS monitoring device.
Mehta also granted Meggs to attend church services from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Mehta also ruled on Friday to deny a bond for Kelly Meggs, Connie Meggs’ husband.
After the couple’s Feb. 17 arrest, the Meggses were indicted Feb. 19 along with eight other co-defendants for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results.
According their indictment, the Meggses were charged with aiding and abetting with the obstruction of an official proceeding, aiding and abetting in the destruction of government property, entering restricted grounds and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
Kelly Meggs, the indictment alleges, was the self-described leader of Florida’s chapter of the paramilitary organization, the Oath Keepers, one of multiple extremist groups involved in the siege of the Capitol.
It’s alleged the Meggses and their several accomplices prepared weeks ahead of the attack, training and recruiting, before they traveled to D.C. donning tactical gear and forced their way into the Capitol in an organized, military fashion.
Prosecutors used security video and other media to identify those who entered the Capitol illegally.
Per the conditions of her release, Connie Meggs isn’t allowed to contact anyone affiliated with the Oath Keepers, except for her husband. She’s also prohibited from possessing firearms or using computers, smartphones or any device she can communicate with.
Attorneys for Kelly and Connie Meggs filed a motion for the clients’ pretrial release, arguing the couple did not have paramilitary training, didn’t force their way into the Capitol’s already-broken doors and weren’t armed during the alleged offenses.
Lawyers also claimed the Meggses kept a law enforcement officer from harm by positioning themselves between an "angry mob” and the officer.
According to their attorneys, the Meggses are 12-year residents of Dunnellon in Marion County, and neither have a criminal history.
At the time of the their arrests, Kelly Meggs worked in management at an area car dealership, and Connie Meggs was “a housewife” and volunteered at a church-run thrift shop.
U.S. attorneys filed responses to the motions for pretrial release, claiming the Meggses had destroyed the tactical gear and helmets they were wearing during the riot at the Capitol.
Federal prosecutors said the couple, during a Jan. 22 text conversation with a relative, “was making light” of Kelly Meggs losing the outfits and equipment in a boating accident.
In response to defense lawyers claiming Kelly and Connie Meggs had no paramilitary training, U.S. attorneys shared photographs and screenshots from videos of the Meggses receiving “tactical firearms training” in September from a Leesburg, Florida, company.
According to their court filings, prosecutors obtained the images from the firearm instructor’s website and social media pages.
When interviewed by the FBI after his arrest, Kelly Meggs said no members of the Oath Keepers participated in the training, but prosecutors claim Mr. Meggs’ financial records show he paid the firearm instructor.
In the judge’s ruling on the Meggses’ bond hearing, according to USA Today, Mehta said the couple had different levels of involvement in the allegations.
“She’s not a recruiter, she’s not a leader as her husband appears to be,” Mehta said of Connie Meggs. “Mr. Meggs is in a different class.”