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Former Navy Reservist Graydon Young, accused of storming US Capitol, to be released on house arrest

Supporters of President Donald Trump protest on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

An Englewood, Florida man and member of the Oath Keeper’s, charged with taking part in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, will be released from jail pending his criminal trial.

Graydon Young, 54, will be placed on house arrest and must appear in court at the U.S. District Court on April 6.

Young is facing several charges, including conspiracy and destruction of property. Federal authorities say Young and nine others, including his sister, Laura Steele, a former police officer from Thomasville, N.C., conspired to gather in Washington, D.C., in an effort to stop the U.S. Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election.

Young was arrested on Feb. 15 and was in Pinellas County Jail until March 4 when the federal case was transferred to Washington, D.C. He was sent to the Central Detention Facility there.

As a condition of Young’s release, he is ordered to stay away from Washington, D.C., and not have any contact with the Oath Keepers, an organization he allegedly joined on Dec. 3. He is also required to wear GPS monitoring and is not allowed to have access to computers, smart phones or other device that would allow him to communicate with others, according to court documents.

On March 22, Young’s attorney asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson to reconsider a ruling saying he was struggling with the “psychological burdens” of staying in jail as he waits trial. Young’s attorney also argued that he had a “limited” role in the Capitol riot in January.

Young’s co-defendants include Dunnellon couple Connie Meggs, and her husband Kelly Meggs, who court records say is the “self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers.” Meggs, Steele and another co-defendant were released on home confinement last month.

“The government has determined that the interests of justice would be better served if Defendant Young were released from custody and placed on home confinement,” wrote acting United States Attorney Channing Phillips on Monday.

Phillips said Young’s case presents some of the “plus” factors the court referenced in its decision to detain co-defendant Kelly Meggs, namely that Young recruited Steele, his sister, and tried to “hide his actions” by deleting his Facebook account.

“On the other hand, Defendant Young does not appear to have played a leadership role among his co-conspirators or to have himself been in advance contact with any other groups or individuals planning for violence in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6,” Phillips said.

According to a federal indictment, Young and others “prepared themselves for battle before heading to the Capitol by equipping themselves with communication devices and donning reinforced vests, helmets and goggles.”

Young, who served seven years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and others donned paramilitary gear and joined others in a military-style “stack” formation that marched up the center steps on the east side of the U.S. Capitol, breached the door at the top and them stormed the building, according to prosecutors.

Still, Young does not appear to have personally brought weapons to the Washington, D.C., area, Phillips said.

The conditions of Young’s release mirror that of his co-defendants. He must report weekly to pretrial services.

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(c) 2021 Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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