A federal decide will announce Tuesday morning whether or not a Lebanon man is responsible of assaulting no less than three legislation enforcement officers in the course of the storming of the U.S. Capitol final 12 months.
Kyle Fitzsimons, 38, is charged with 11 counts stemming from the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. He was the primary of 5 individuals in Maine to be charged with crimes associated to the riot. The costs in opposition to him embrace two counts of inflicting bodily harm on officers, one depend of utilizing a harmful or lethal weapon on an officer, in addition to civil disobedience and obstruction of justice costs.
Fitzsimons’ case will probably be determined by U.S. District Choose Rudolph Contreras in a bench trial; Fitzsimons waived his proper to a jury.
Federal prosecutors accuse Fitzsimons of assaulting three officers – Detective Phuson Nguyen and Officer Sarah Beaver of the Metropolitan Police Division, and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police – in addition to a number of different officers who had been standing in a line as Fitzsimons charged at them along with his fists raised.
Nguyen was the primary witness to testify in Fitzsimons’ four-day trial in August. He informed the court docket that Fitzsimons pulled off the detective’s gasoline masks whereas one other demonstrator aimed what seemed to be bear spray at his face. Fitzsimons then launched the masks, and when it snapped again, Nguyen dropped to the bottom, choking and burning.
Beaver mentioned that she had already been vomited on and hit by a can of bear spray whereas defending the Capitol when she was hit within the helmet by an unstrung bow. Prosecutors consider Fitzsimons introduced that bow to Washington from Maine, in response to images taken earlier than the violence and feedback he made throughout a neighborhood authorities assembly afterward.
Gonell informed the court docket that Fitzsimons grabbed his defend whereas he was making an attempt to assist one other officer. Fitzsimons pulled the defend so onerous that it injured his shoulder and he later wanted surgical procedure to restore a torn muscle, the officer testified.
Prosecutors offered hours of surveillance video and physique digital camera photos, which they mentioned help officers’ testimony that Fitzsimons helped suffocate Nguyen with bear spray, tried to harm Beaver by throwing a bow at her, and injured Gonell’s shoulder.
Fitzsimons’ protection lawyer Natasha Taylor-Smith mentioned it wasn’t at all times clear that Fitzsimons was at fault. There’s no video footage exhibiting the entire sequence of a bow flying from Fitzsimons’ fingers to Beaver’s head. There aren’t any clear-cut photos of Fitzsimons pulling at Nguyen’s masks whereas somebody sprayed him, Taylor-Smith informed the court docket.
Taylor-Smith spent a lot of her cross-examination questioning Gonell’s credibility. He testified in Congress in regards to the occasions of the day and he has given interviews to nationwide information retailers, together with Univision, The Washington Publish, the New York Instances, NBC and CNN. In some interviews – two of which had been paid – Taylor-Smith pointed to earlier statements Gonell made, criticizing judges for delivering sentences in opposition to different Jan. 6 members that Gonell felt weren’t extreme sufficient.
Fitzsimons had been residing in Lebanon along with his spouse and younger daughter for about three years earlier than his arrest in February 2021. He labored as a contract butcher for small farms all through southern Maine, in response to court docket paperwork. A day after he helped storm the U.S. Capitol, Fitzsimons referred to as into a neighborhood authorities assembly and mentioned he went to D.C. sporting his butcher’s jacket as a result of “it was going to be the final day of the Republic” and he needed to “dwell it like I dwell day by day.”
Fitzsimons was born in Newburgh, New York, and his father labored for the U.S. Army Academy at West Level, in response to court docket paperwork. He grew up round different youngsters whose households had been working at West Level. After highschool, he obtained a bachelor’s diploma from the State College of New York at New Paltz.
Taylor-Smith informed the court docket that Fitzsimons believed he was going to Washington to help a constitutional and authorized course of, wherein elected members of Congress might have voted in opposition to certifying the presidential vote. She mentioned Fitzsimons was following data from “mainstream” sources – information retailers and federal and state officers who had been talking about alleged “irregularities” within the electoral outcomes.
“He was nonetheless being informed by these similar mainstream people, and by the chief govt officer of this nation, that there was a plan,” mentioned Taylor-Smith. “That plan didn’t embrace the army. It didn’t embrace violence or weapons of any form. All that wanted to occur was for the state legislatures to return collectively on Jan. 6 and object to the certification.”