Home / Naples Jan. 6 suspect accused of violating the conditions of his release

Naples Jan. 6 suspect accused of violating the conditions of his release

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

A Southwest Florida man accused of storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6 is now facing more legal troubles.

Chris Worrell, 51, is accused of violating the conditions of his release by speaking about the event.

Legal experts say Worrell should expect a judge to order him back into custody.

WINK News spoke to a former U.S. Attorney General who did not mince his words when he said violating a pretrial release is serious. Based on those violations, the judge could send him to federal prison.

“Good morning, commissioners. My name is Christopher Worrell.”

Worrell didn’t get what he wanted in an emotional plea for help from the Collier County commissioners. Instead, Former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey said Worrell only dug a deeper hole for himself.

“He was told, for example, not to speak to the press, not to make public statements about his case. He goes in front of a county commission. He says he’s just talking about the unfair conditions of his confinement, not the case itself. But why do you take chances with that? I mean, why would you gamble?” said Coffey.

Coffey said that gamble could cost him his freedom. Already, because of what is accused of doing on January 6, he can’t use the internet, can’t have contact with anyone involved in the January 6, can’t talk to any news organizations, and can’t speak publicly about his case.

That didn’t stop him on April 26.

“They raided my residence, deployed flash-bang grenades, parked a SWAT tank at the front of my entrance at my door,” Worrell told commissioners.

The Department of Justice sees this as a loud and clear violation of pretrial release.

Commissioner Rick LoCastro clapped when Worrell finished addressing the commissioners in April. He said he offered to help Worrell the same way he would help any other citizen in his district.

As a condition of his pre-trial release, Worrell isn’t allowed to talk about his case in public, or use the internet, including email, so his wife sent an email to LoCastro pleading his case.

LoCastro said all he did was forward the email to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Since then, LoCastro said hasn’t heard a peep from Worrell or Moody’s office.

Coffey said the violations Worrell is facing are no joke.

“You can be thrown right into federal prison until it takes time to resolve the trial, and that could be months. Sometimes even longer,” said Coffey.

Worrell could say goodbye to having the freedoms of living in his home, sleeping in his own bed, and living with his loved ones.

Coffey wondered, “Why he would be sort of getting into risky strategies. Was he violating? Wasn’t he? Just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

As of right now, there is no date set for Worrell’s trial. He is supposed to undergo major oral surgery, which would prevent him from being able to talk for several months.