CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY/AP) — A Chesapeake man who was arrested after authorities say he was found with weapons near a Philadelphia vote-counting center in November was in Washington, D.C. as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
On Friday, a Philadelphia judge denied a request from prosecutors to revoke the $750,000 bail for the man, the co-founder of Vets for Trump.
Joshua Macias appeared in court Friday morning in Philadelphia. Prosecutors alleged Macias, 42, “at minimum” violated the conditions of his bail when he attended the “Stop the Steal” rally last Wednesday, which culminated in the violent insurrection after President Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol.
Macias’ attorney, however, has said Macias was never inside the Capitol during the riot, though video, which has since been deleted from Macias’ Twitter account, showed him near the Capitol steps as rioters broke into the building.
“Exercising your right to free assembly and your right to free speech is not a crime … however entering our nation’s Capitol building … those acts … were disgraceful and that is not what my client is accused of doing,” said Macias’ attorney William Brennan told WAVY News 10’s Brett Hall.
The insurrection left 5 people dead, including a Capitol Police officer who died after being attacking with a fire extinguisher. Another officer who was at the rally died days later of suicide, the Associated Press reported.
Macias was originally arrested Nov. 5 near the Philadelphia Convention Center, where votes were being counted for the presidential election. He was with another Chesapeake man, 61-year-old Antonio LaMotta. Both were arrested on weapons charges.
Two officers observed Lamotta allegedly with a gun in plain view on the hip, and found that Macias allegedly had a gun concealed under a jacket. The 61-year-old said he did not have a handgun license, and was placed under arrest. The 42-year-old said he had a Virginia carry license, which isn’t recognized in Pennsylvania, and was also taken into custody.
Officials said the Hummer the men traveled in had an AR-15 rifle and 160 rounds of ammunition inside. There were also stickers for the far-right conspiracy theory group QAnon on the vehicle
A judge Thursday ordered the two men, Macias and LaMotta, to stand trial on elections fraud-related charges.
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