Judge gives Steele time off for vacation

July 15 – A federal judge granted the request of a Thomasville woman convicted of charges stemming from the January 6, 2021 riot and storming of the U.S. Capitol to delay her sentencing hearing so that she can go on vacation with her family before going to prison.

Laura Lee Steele, 54, was due to be sentenced on August 31 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The postponement request filed last month by her lawyer, Peter Cooper, said that due to the possibility of a prison sentence, “Ms Steele and her family had planned a short family holiday” which would last “until the first week of September”.

In an order filed on Tuesday, Judge Amit Mehta agreed to set a new sentencing date of September 11 – but he did not allow the entire last week of August for Steele. He ordered that she still appear at a hearing set to resolve issues relating to the conviction of Steele and other members of the Oath Keepers militia who were convicted along with her in March.

“Steele … will appear at the general sentencing hearing scheduled for August 29, 2023. The court will not move this hearing,” Mehta wrote.

Among the issues that could be decided at the August 29 hearing are two requests Cooper filed in May: a request for a new trial and a request for Mehta to quash Steele’s conviction and declare his acquittal on all charges. charges due to default. evidence to support the charges.

Steele, a former High Point Police Department officer, was among the third group of Oath Keepers militia members convicted at the trial. She was convicted of obstructing an official process, conspiring to obstruct an official congressional process, conspiring to prevent members of Congress from performing their duties, destroying government property, entering or staying in a building or on a site with restricted access, obstructing agents during civil proceedings, disorder and falsification of documents or materials.

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