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Federal judge reverses accused rioter Chrestman's release, orders transfer to DC

47-year-old Olathe man charged with conspiracy
William Norman Chrestman
WilliamChrestmanMug.jpg
Kuehne, Colon and Chrestman
Chrestman Axe Barrie
Chrestman and Colon
Chrestman and Felicia Konold
Chrestman and Cory Konold
Posted at 3:29 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 19:52:12-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Accused insurrectionist leader William Chrestman, of Olathe, will be transferred to Washington, D.C., where he will remain in custody before his trial on charges in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the ruling Tuesday, which overturns an order for Chrestman’s pretrial release issued by a federal judge in Kansas last week.

Chrestman, 47, was arrested Feb. 11 and charged with conspiracy, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara with the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas wrote on Feb. 19 a 17-page opinion, which granted Chrestman’s pretrial release over objections from the federal government.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office immediately appealed the decision and Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin filed a Motion for Transport Order on Saturday in federal court in Washington.

Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the transfer order later on Saturday. He also granted the government’s stay of O’Hara’s pretrial release on Sunday.

Having granted both orders over the weekend, Howell issued a Transport Order on Tuesday after a motion hearing, which directs the U.S. Marshals to move Chrestman from Kansas to Washington “for pretrial detention in this matter.”

No future court dates have been set in the case.

Chrestman, who federal authorities allege is the leader of the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys hate group, is one of four Kansas City-area residents who has been arrested in connection to the Capitol riot.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Christopher Kuehne, of Olathe, and former Blue Springs police officer Louis Colon, of Blue Springs, also were arrested Feb. 11 along with a brother and sister from Arizona, who claim to have been recruited into the local Proud Boys chapter.

Ryan Ashlock, of Gardner, was arrested Monday in connection with the Capitol riot.

Chrestman’s attorneys blamed former President Trump for sanctioning the riot in a court filing that argued for his pretrial release.

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