Judge okays 1-day trial delay of Mercer County woman charged in Jan. 6 capitol riot
The attorney for a Mercer County woman has been granted one extra day to prepare her case that will go before a judge next week when she goes on trial next week for her alleged part in the January 6th incursion at the US Capitol.
US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth on Friday rescheduled the bench trial of Rachel Powell from 10 a.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday in his Washington D.C. courtroom.
Powell's attorney Nicholas Smith filed a motion to continue the trial claiming he needed more time to prepare the case, partly because he spent five months involved in the defense of Proud Boy leader Ethan Nordean, who was convicted on Thursday of sedition conspiracy and other charges.
Attorney Smith also claims prosecutors failed to provide him with discovery information about Powell's case until early last week and accused prosecutors of being "unreasonable" about their willingness to plea bargain the case.
Government attorneys say the 43-year-old mother of eight carried an ice axe and a "large" wooden pole into the Capitol while Vice President Pence was in the building to take part in the process of certifying the results of the previous November's election.
Online court records give no reason for Powell’s decision to choose haveing Judge Lamberth hear her case instead of a jury. However, in an online video posted before agreeing to a bench trial, Powell expressed concern about the length and cost of a jury trial, adding, “You can't really get a fair jury in D.C. So, there's no point in wasting my money."
Additionally, Powell says having a bench trial still preserves her right to appeal a court decision.
Powell, the so-called "pink hat lady" and "bullhorn lady" was charged after authorities say videos showed her in the crowd of people storming the Capitol in support of Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud.
An affidavit says Powell was seen using the bullhorn to give instructions about the layout of the Capitol building and instructing others on how to "take this building."
The Sandy Lake woman faces trial on nine charges that include civil disorder, obstruction, destruction of US property, entering a restricted building or property with a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct.
"Please keep us in your prayers, especially my children, and my judge too. God bless America," Powell tweeted on Thursday.