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Appeal for Capitol Shooting Photos

August 14, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ As the man suspected of killing two Capitol police officers recovers from wounds he sustained in the attack, the FBI and local police set up a toll-free hotline on Friday in an appeal for evidence from anyone who took pictures of the building on the day of the shootings.

Law enforcement officials encourage anyone who took photographs or videotapes of the Capitol from any direction between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on July 24 to call 1-888-324-9800.

That was the day a man shot his way into the historic building, killing U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and detective John Gibson. A tourist was wounded.

The suspect in the shooting, Russell E. Weston Jr., 41, still has not appeared in federal court to formally face a charge of murdering federal officers. Such an appearance usually takes place within three days of a person’s arrest.

In court, defense lawyer Barry Boss told a judge on Friday that Weston cannot even sit in a wheelchair for at least three more weeks.

``He is in bed, your honor,″ Boss said at a brief hearing in federal court. ``He is not able and has not gotten out of that bed since he’s been in the hospital,″ Boss said.

Magistrate Alan Kay canceled a scheduled court hearing for Weston next week and told defense lawyers and federal prosecutors to return Sept. 8. Weston is not expected to be well enough to appear at that hearing.

Weston, 41, could face the death penalty if convicted. His defense is expected to focus on his mental history as a paranoid schizophrenic who feared the federal government.

Prosecutors have not offered any motive for the shootings.

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