US man pleads not guilty to charges in Capitol terror plot
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill federal officials and workers there pleaded not guilty Thursday to all the charges against him.
Christopher Lee Cornell, of the Cincinnati suburb of Green Township, entered the pleas during a brief arraignment in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. He will continue to be held without bond.
The 20-year-old Cornell planned to “wage jihad’ by attacking the Capitol with pipe bombs and shooting government officials and employees, the FBI has said in court documents.
Two of the charges carry possible sentences of up to 20 years each. They allege attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. He also faces a firearms-related charge that carries a mandatory minimum of five years to a maximum of life in prison, said Tim Mangan, assistant U.S. attorney.
Cornell entered the courtroom in handcuffs and leg shackles and responded softly to questions from U.S. Magistrate Stephanie Bowman.
Karen Savir, an assistant federal public defender representing Cornell, told the judge at an earlier hearing that her client wants to be addressed by his Muslim name, Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah. But Bowman denied that request Thursday.
“I have determined that his legal name is Christopher Cornell,” she said.
Savir and family members of Cornell who were at the hearing left without commenting to reporters.
Cornell was arrested Jan. 14 outside a gun shop near his home in suburban Cincinnati. He was taken into custody after he bought two M-15 assault weapons and 600 rounds of ammunition, according to the FBI.
Cornell’s father has said his son was coerced and misled by “a snitch” trying to better his own legal situation.
Savir said previously that Cornell was eager to appear in court to defend himself against the allegations.