A federal judge set another court date for the Dunnellon couple and their handful of alleged paramilitary accomplices accused of storming the Capitol during the January riot.
During a telephonic court hearing Tuesday, April 6, U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta scheduled June 1 as the next case status date for husband and wife, Kelly and Connie Meggs.
Mehta said the lapse will give federal prosecutors time to disclose the bulk of their expanding trove of evidence and witnesses to the defense lawyers for the dozen defendants indicted in the case.
Kelly and Connie Meggs were arrested Feb. 17, along with several others, for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results.
According to the four-count indictment they pleaded not guilty to, the Meggses are charged with conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destroying government property and entering restricted grounds.
It’s alleged Kelly Meggs was the self-described leader of Florida's chapter of the Oath Keepers, one of many extremist groups involved in the Capitol raid.
Kelly Meggs trained alongside his wife and others before they traveled to D.C. donning tactical gear, and forced their way into the Capitol in an organized, military fashion.
U.S. Attorney Kathryn Leigh Rakoczy told Mehta on Tuesday prosecutors will keep sharing their evidence with defense teams “on a rolling basis” as federal investigations continue into the group’s actions and connections with other conspirators who’ve yet to be indicted.
This includes, Rakoczy said, the results of government searches into the defendants’ homes and more than 50 electronic devices involved in their case.
Citing the volume and complexity of ongoing investigations into the Capitol attack, U.S. attorneys filed a motion for Mehta to waive the timeframe to schedule speedy trials for the Meggses and the other codefendants who requested one.
“... the failure to grant such a continuance in this proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of this proceeding impossible,” the motion states, “or result in a miscarriage of justice.”
After receiving the defense attorneys’ responses to the motion, Mehta said Tuesday he’ll be filing an order soon.
Rakoczy told Mehta she’s confident her office can provide the bulk of its criminal findings within the 60-day period she requested before the next court hearing.
“This is a very broad investigation,” she said. “We’re … coming up with ways to make sure the evidence is reviewed and disclosed to the appropriate parties.”
Defense attorneys did not voice major objections to Rakoczy’s request for a continuance, nor did they complain about how they were getting evidence, but they urged the judge and prosecutors to be quick so their clients don’t continue to linger in custody.
Connie Meggs was released to house arrest, and Kelly Meggs has been incarcerated since his arrest.
Mehta denied bond for Kelly Meggs during a March 26 hearing, citing his greater involvement in the alleged offenses.
David Wilson, the Ocala-based attorney representing the Meggses, filed a motion Monday for the judge to reconsider the custody of Kelly Meggs.
Mehta gave U.S. attorneys until April 12 to file a response to Wilson’s motion, two days before the judge plans to hear bond arguments.
In his motion, Wilson said federal prosecutors and investigators falsely assumed Kelly Meggs destroyed the Oath Keepers and military garb he and his wife wore during the Capitol attack, and attached photographs of the equipment in his motion.
“Because this new information directly contradicts the allegation of obstructionist conduct by Mr. Meggs,” Wilson wrote in his motion, “it is respectfully requested that the Court revisit its factual findings and decision to deny Mr. Meggs pretrial release.”