A federal Washington D.C. judge faulted a district jail on Thursday for failing to provide evidence to a defendant who was arrested for allegedly being involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and has been held there for months.
Jorden Mink, the defendant in the case, was indicted (pdf) on several federal charges, including destruction of government property and theft. Mink, who has pleaded not guilty, has been held in jail since January. Officials have alleged Mink used a baseball bat to smash windows at the Capitol and passed furniture through the smashed windows to the crowd outside.
“I can’t allow someone to sit in prison for this long without access to material,” Judge Randolph Moss said at a court hearing on Thursday, saying the delay in evidence was “utterly unacceptable” and “not consistent with due process.”
During the Thursday court hearing, prosecutors said they had given the evidence to the jail in May and didn’t understand why Mink hasn’t been able to obtain the documents. Mink was offered a plea deal, prosecutors noted, but they said he can’t decide on whether to accept the deal because he hasn’t seen the evidence against him.
Randolph ordered prosecutors to work with the jail to grant the defendant access to the evidence against him by the end of Thursday, reported CNN. If Mink doesn’t gain access to the documents soon, the judge said, his detention may be reconsidered.
There have been other reports of Jan. 6 defendants not being able to gain access to evidence against them, essentially denying them due process under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. Prosecutors have suggested that due to the sheer number of arrests related to the incident, there have been delays.
So far, more than 500 defendants across nearly every U.S. state have been charged over the past six months over the Jan. 6 breach, according to the Department of Justice in early July.
It comes as lawyers earlier this month said that dozens of people in federal custody following the Jan. 6 incident are currently being held in solitary confinement, denied access to legal counsel, and are being denied medical care.
“There are about 50 plus or minus that are being detained, that have been in prison for months and will likely remain in prison for many more months until their day in court,” attorney John Pierce told EpochTV’s “The Nation Speaks.”
Mink was scheduled to appear before Randolph in April but missed the court date because he tested positive for COVID-19. His attorney, Michael Mosher, said that Mink was having difficulty gaining access to medication that he takes regularly while in jail.
“He takes medications to treat those, but since coming to Virginia and DC, he’s not been getting those meds as prescribed,” Moser told a court at the time, according to local media.
In January, Mink was arrested at his home in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and was held in the Butler County Jail. Federal court records say that he was transferred from the county jail to the D.C. jail.
The Epoch Times has contacted the D.C. jail for comment.