HELENA — On Friday Joshua and Jerod Hughes entered pleas of not guilty for updated charges for actions they allegedly took during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The superseding indictment was returned by a grand jury on Dec. 1, 2021, with minor changes to some of the language of the charges they had previously been facing.
The brothers face nine charges which include obstruction of an official proceeding, obstruct/impede/interfere with law enforcement during a civil disorder, and entering the Capitol Building with the intent to disrupt official business.
The two men are accused of being some of the first to enter the U.S. Capitol Building through a window that had been broken by another rioter.
They can also be seen in photographs confronting Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman. Goodman led rioters away from the U.S. Senate Chamber while it was still being evacuated.
Federal prosecutors also say the Hughes brothers can be seen on the floor of the senate.
The lawyer for Jerod Hughes attempted to have count two — attempting to or successfully obstructing, influencing or impeding an official proceeding — dropped on the grounds that congressional certification of the electoral college vote is not an “official proceeding.” Judge Timothy J. Kelly rejected the motion, upholding the charge, noting that other courts have been upholding the charge in other cases.
Judge Kelly set a 60-day continuance so that parties had adequate time to discuss the potential of a plea agreement now that the vast majority of discovery has been provided to the defense.
The next status conference for Joshua and Jerod Hughes has been scheduled for March 8 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.