US Capitol plot suspect due in court for plea hearing
Areas of Focus | 2016/07/31 23:40
An Ohio man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of the Islamic State group is due in court for a change-of-plea hearing.

Christopher Lee Cornell, 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from his January 2015 arrest. A change-of-plea hearing notice was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Such notices often signal plans to plead guilty.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith ruled in April that Cornell was competent to stand trial after his attorneys questioned his mental state.

FBI agents arrested Cornell in the parking lot of a gun shop near Cincinnati, saying he'd just bought two M-15 assault weapons and ammunition.

Cornell's father said his son was misled and coerced by "a snitch."

Charges of attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees and solicitation to commit a crime of violence carry potential 20-year prison sentences with convictions. A charge of offering material support to a terrorist organization carries a sentence of up to 15 years. Cornell also faces a firearms-related charge, which carries a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a maximum of life in prison.



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