Judge sets new deadlines in US Capitol terror plot case

AP News
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Posted: Jun 15, 2015 11:43 AM

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge on Monday set witness disclosure deadlines in court proceedings for a man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of Islamic State group extremists.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith recently ordered a Nov. 10 status and scheduling conference. On Monday, she set deadlines for the two sides to disclose the expert witnesses they plan to use in trial. The latest is Jan. 11, 2016, for government disclosure of its expert rebuttal witnesses.

Christopher Lee Cornell, 21 of western Cincinnati, has pleaded not guilty to four counts, including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees. He has been held without bond since his Jan. 14 arrest.

The FBI has said he wanted to "wage jihad" by attacking the Capitol. His father has said he was misled and coerced by "a snitch."

Beckwith's order said both sides must disclose to each other their expert witnesses' opinions, basis for their opinions and qualifications. She has described the case, which involves classified information, as "unusual and complex."

The FBI has said Cornell, who uses the Muslim name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, planned to attack the Capitol with pipe bombs and to shoot government officials and employees. The FBI said he bought two M-15 assault weapons and 600 rounds of ammunition just before his arrest.

Cornell later told Cincinnati TV station WXIX he wanted to go to Washington and shoot President Barack Obama in the head.

Charges against Cornell of attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees and of solicitation to commit a crime of violence carry potential 20-year prison sentences, while a count of supporting a foreign terrorist organization has a potential 15-year sentence with conviction.

Cornell also faces a firearms-related charge carrying a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison.

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