Court hearing devolves into a 'mess' as 'Helmet boy' Capitol rioter rejects plea deal and declares himself 'general counsel'
The Capitol rioter known as "helmet boy" rejected a plea agreement Tuesday after previously demanding one, in what one reporter described as "a mess" of a hearing.
Zach Alam, who was captured on video using a riot helmet to smash a window to the Speaker's Lobby during the Jan. 6 riot, told a federal judge Tuesday that he is representing himself as "general counsel," and that his attorney was merely "an assistant," according to a report from investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane.
Following Alam's outbursts at a hearing last month — when he demanded that prosecutors make him a plea offer — the judge muted his microphone for most of Tuesday's virtual hearing, McFarlane reported.
"We're not going to have any disruptions in this hearing today.... are we clear?" court staff told Alam at the start of the hearing.
After defense attorney Michael Lawlor announced his client was rejecting the government's offer, Alam tried to interject but was rebuffed by the judge. When Alam was finally allowed to speak, he said: "I need the offer stated for the record. He's my lawyer, I'm general counsel for my own case. I want to know what it is. Michael never contacts me."
The judge declined request and advised him to discuss the matter further with Lawlor.
"Alam was trying to argue that he's defending himself. Judge cut him off, court muted him... they sent him back to private breakout room with defense attorney. This was a mess," MacFarlane reported.
The judge ultimately scheduled another hearing for Sept. 15.
STARTING NOW: Virtual court hearing in Jan 6 case of Zach Alam, accused of smashing window to House Speaker Lobby, near Ashli Babbitt\n\nStandby, there were disruptions by Alam in last hearing. Court staff just warned they'll have quick trigger finger for "mute" button this timepic.twitter.com/qoFronKXNJ— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1629212509
Alam: I want to know what it is. Michael never contacts me.\n\nFriedrich: We'll be able to address it again at next hearing. Discuss with attorney more than you have done.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) 1629213636
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