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Sandpoint man, brother involved in Jan. 6 Capitol riot plead not guilty to all charges

Michael and William Pope pleaded not guilty to all eight charges against each of them on Tuesday morning, including two felonies and six misdemeanors.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A Sandpoint man and his brother, both of whom were involved in the Jan. 6, riot at the United States Capitol last year, appeared in court virtually on Tuesday morning.

Micheal Pope of Sandpoint and William Pope of Kansas pleaded not guilty to all eight charges against each of them, including:

  • Obstructing or impeding official proceedings (F)
  • Civil disorder (F)
  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds (M)
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds (M)
  • Impeding ingress or egress in a restricted building or grounds (M)
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building (M)
  • Impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings (M)
  • Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building (M)

The Pope brothers traveled to Washington D.C. ahead of the Jan. 6 riot, according to law enforcement. Micheal Pope was recorded inside the building on news broadcasts and on a Facebook video taken just outside the Capitol in which his brother introduces him by full name while pointing the camera at his face.  

Micheal Pope turned himself in on Feb. 12, 2021. 

During Tuesday morning's hearing, both men waived a formal reading of their indictments and formally requested a jury trial. Because both Pope brothers have new defense attorneys, the trial was given a 60-day continuance in order to allow both sides to review the facts of the case, as well as discuss them thoroughly.

Mike Mitchell for the United States said he was in the process of providing preliminary discovery to both defense attorneys when the new council entered the trial. Mitchell said the United States will have to go through the discovery process again.

"I would imagine, based upon the fact that new counsel came into the case, that it's going to take additional time for defense counsel to review discovery and for the parties to have any sort of meaningful discussions," he said.

The two will appear in front of a jury at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on March 11, 2021.


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