On Wednesday, a federal judge convicted senior Washington, D.C. prison officials of contempt of court, ruling that they had improperly delayed treatment for a defendant in custody in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Calling the deferment of treatment for the accused, Christopher Worrell, “incompetent” and “unforgivable,” Judge Royce S. Lambert of the Federal District Court in Washington said he would also refer the case to the Justice Department for a potential investigation into whether Mr. Royce Lambert Civil Worrell’s rights – and the rights of other imprisoned defendants – were violated.
“Nobody cares?” Judge Lambert once asked the prison staff and their lawyers, calling their mistreatment of Mr. Worrell “more than inappropriate.”
Mr. Worrell, a member of the Florida branch of the Proud Boys, was denied bail and jailed shortly after his arrest in March on charges of assaulting a police officer and obstructing congressional confirmation of the January 6 presidential election. has cancer, is undergoing chemotherapy, and after being taken into custody, he broke his wrist.
He was scheduled for wrist surgery in June, Judge Lambert said at a hearing on Wednesday, but the operation had not taken place by September, and the judge ordered prison authorities to provide him with Mr. Worrell’s medical records so he could consider issuing an official order requiring the procedure. Prison officials delayed the issuance of documents to Judge Lambert, prompting his angry outburst from the bench.
Contempt of court is not punishable by imprisonment or fines. The Justice Department and the District of Columbia Department of Corrections declined to comment on this finding.
Lawyers for several others of the approximately 40 defendants on January 6, who are in the District of Columbia prison instead of being released on bail, filed complaints of ill-treatment. Some alleged that their clients were denied adequate food and access to showers. Others complained about restrictions on religious services. Prison officials denied the charges and said those accused of the Capitol riot are not being punished or mistreated.
In his opinion of contempt, Judge Lambert said that he had no idea if the delays in medical care for Mr. Worrell since January 6, were nevertheless angered by them.