PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has declined to release one of two Oregon brothers accused in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol after finding his parents unsuitable to supervise him until trial.
Matthew Klein’s lawyer had asked that his 24-year-old client be allowed to stay with his parents in Baker City, describing them as deeply religious Christian missionaries and responsible people.
U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss ruled against the request Tuesday, and both brothers remain behind bars in Portland. Prosecutors had submitted examples of text messages that showed Klein’s parents warning his younger brother, Jonathanpeter Klein, that “braggers get caught,” The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Their mother also texted Jonathanpeter Klein, 21, to warn him that his “phone is not encrypted,” that he should be careful what he says and that he should “clear” his phone, court records say.
The brothers both have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of an official proceeding, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, destruction of government property, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds.
In urging Matthew Klein’s release, defense attorney Steven R. Kiersh said his client wants to continue his education at George Fox University.
He had been attending the Christian college in Newberg until his arrest on March 23, according to the university.
“He was a senior, but he is no longer a student at George Fox,” college spokesman Rob Felton said Tuesday. Officials said last month that Klein was barred from campus.
Kiersh also sought to distinguish the elder Klein from his brother, telling the court that Jonathanpeter Klein is accused of being a member of the Proud Boys, not Matthew Klein.
Federal prosecutor Christopher K. Veatch countered that Matthew Klein played a larger role than his brother in the Capitol riot by helping others scale a wall to allow them to enter the building.
Both brothers entered the Capitol, left about 10 minutes later and both wrenched open another door, Veatch said.
Jonathanpeter Klein then walked away, but Matthew Klein put on goggles and confronted police before he was doused with pepper spray, Veatch said.
The judge left open the possibility for Matthew Klein and his lawyer to find another third-party custodian who could be approved, with stringent release conditions, such as home detention and GPS monitoring.