Mercer Capitol riot suspect claims curfew, ankle bracelet harming family life
A Mercer County mother of eight has asked a federal judge end requirements that she obey a curfew and wear an electronic location monitoring ankle bracelet while she awaits trial on charges from the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
The attorney representing 42-year-old Rachel Powell of Sandy Lake Pennsylvania filed a motion to modify Powell’s conditions of release, saying home detention and location monitoring are affecting her family life.
Prosecutors allege that Powell was the woman seen on video wearing a pink hat, using a bullhorn to instruct others on how to gain control of the Capitol during efforts by the crowd to stop Joe Biden from being certified as the winner of the Presidential election.
In her motion, Powell says to raise money to pay her defense attorney she sold her home and is renting property near her current employer to keep her job.
Powell says her new home isn’t large enough to house her three teenage sons, who are living by themselves in a nearby efficiency residence.
According to the motion: “Powell cannot enter the efficiency after 6 p.m. because pretrial services advised that the equipment supporting her GPS location monitoring cannot be installed there. Thus, her teenage sons are on their own at night.”
The motion says in addition to the “inherent mischief-making capacity of teenage boys”, the motion says the current living situation is dangerous, citing an alleged incident where one of her sons fell into a nearby lake while fishing. Powell says she was unable to come to his rescue due to her ankle bracelet and curfew.
In addition, Powell says her sons are missing out on extracurricular school activities because the ankle bracelet prohibits her from driving them to sports or school-related club events.
Powell stated in the motion that she will also miss the marriage of an older child and the birth of a grandchild.
The motion alleges that her income is being limited because the restrictions are limiting the number of hours she can work and keeps her from attending business meetings.
Her attorney says Powell does not pose a flight risk and will attend any future court hearings.
Government prosecutors have not yet responded to Powell’s motion.
Powell, one of five Valley residents charged in connection with the insurrection, faces trial on charges including obstruction, destruction of US property over $1,000, entering a restricted building or property with a dangerous weapon, entering a restricted building/property, and disorderly conduct.