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Ex-police officers reject pleas in Capitol riot case

August 18, 2021 GMT

Two former police officers from Virginia charged with participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol have rejected plea agreements.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi didn’t say at a hearing Tuesday what concessions prosecutors offered Thomas “T.J” Robertson and Jacob Fracker in exchange for pleading guilty, The Roanoke Times reported.

Defense attorneys for the two men didn’t explain their reasons, but Fracker has told authorities that police let them into the Capitol. Aloi hasn’t seen evidence of that, she said, but prosecutors are still sifting through footage. A status hearing was set for Sept. 23.

Robertson, whose bond was revoked last month after a judge ruled he violated his pretrial release terms by possessing firearms, was the first to turn down a possible plea agreement. Since the men were offered a “wired” plea agreement, which takes effect if all defendants accept the offer, Fracker didn’t have an opportunity to decide for himself, defense attorney Bernard Crane said.

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Robertson and Fracker are charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony, and two misdemeanors, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct in the Capitol. Both men were fired shortly after their arrests. During Tuesday’s hearing, Aloi said the government is considering additional charges.