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Linden man expected to enter plea to January 6th charges

A Linden man charged with assaulting law enforcement during the insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 is expected to enter a plea to the charges next week.

63-year-old Matthew Thomas Krol was charged in March of 2022 in an eight-count indictment with two counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon, and then single counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, robbery, engaging and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon and engaging in an act of physical violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings.

Krol, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., has been in custody since his arrest Feb. 22, 2022 in Linden.

According to court documents, a status hearing set for Tuesday, August 15 in the case has been converted to a plea hearing at Krol’s request.

“The parties have worked diligently to reach an agreement, and the negotiations have now concluded,” reads a motion filed by Krol’s attorney. “The parties have agreed on the details of the written plea agreement and the Statement of Facts.”

Krol is the self-professed executive officer of the Genesee County Volunteer Militia and admitted to the FBI after his arrest that he had associated with some of those who had been charged with the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, including telling one of them in a Facebook exchange that he “would rather apprehend tyrants at the Capital (sic), hang them on those beautiful oak trees then kill citizens in a civil war … just sayin.”

A previous motion by Krol for pre-trial release was rejected by the court due to “Krol’s violent rhetoric, association with individuals alleged to have been involved with the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer, historical leadership of a militia group, and ownership of approximately ten guns” that lead the Court to conclude he “poses a concrete, prospective threat to public safety.”

Authorities contend that on Jan. 6, at approximately 2:28 p.m., he pushed forward through a crowd near the Capitol Steps on the east side of the building, threw a water bottle at police officers, pulled other civilians out of his way, and attacked an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department. He allegedly grabbed the officer, spun him around, and stole his police baton. He is then said to have held up the baton to the crowd and used it to strike other officers, including one who was holding a shield.

According to documents filed in federal court, Krol admitted to attending Michigan rallies with a rifle strapped to his shoulder, including at least one at the state Capitol in Lansing.

The Jan. 6th, 2021 assault disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

The current filing states Krol’s request for a plea hearing “is made by Defendant because he has continuing health concerns which he feels will be more efficaciously addressed in another venue. As a result, he is requesting to proceed with the plea and sentencing in an expedited manner.”

Krol’s attorney is expected to travel to Washington D.C. this weekend and obtain Krol’s signature to the plea agreement, the terms of which have not been released.

According to the Associated Press, more than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 600 of them have pleaded guilty, while approximately 100 others have been convicted after trials decided by judges or juries. More than 550 riot defendants have been sentenced, with over half receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from six days to 18 years.

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