More Charges Filed Against Gorbey in January Incident at Capitol
Local prosecutors filed additional weapons charges on Monday against Michael Gorbey, the man accused of carrying a shotgun and an array of other weapons near the Capitol in January.
Gorbey pleaded not guilty to all 15 counts against him, including numerous charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and attempted manufacturing of a weapon of mass destruction.
Capitol Police officers arrested Gorbey on Jan. 18 for allegedly carrying a loaded shotgun and other weapons near the Capitol. Officials also shut down several streets surrounding the Capitol complex while officers investigated a pickup truck “associated” with Gorbey to ensure that it was not an immediate threat.
During a follow-up investigation several weeks later, Capitol Police discovered additional “hazardous materials” in the pickup truck. Several of the new weapons charges stem from that discovery.
Gorbey, who is acting as his own attorney in the case, focused his attention during Monday’s status conference on recent motions he filed with the court to suppress evidence and change venues for his upcoming trial.
Media coverage of court proceedings in the case has been extensive, and media outlets have not presented Gorbey’s side of the story in a fair light, he told D.C. Superior Court Judge Gregory Jackson.
Jackson denied the request to change venues. Other than the initial television coverage on Jan. 18, news reports of Gorbey’s trial have been limited to local newspapers — nothing that would hinder finding a fair jury, Jackson said.
“It’s not the kind of publicity that I think warrants a change,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he will rule on the other motions by an April 15 status conference hearing.
Gorbey also told Jackson he is concerned that he is not getting all the materials that prosecutors expect to use during trial and requested everything be sent directly to him in jail, rather than to his standby counsel.
Prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff said she has been sending everything presented in discovery to Gorbey attorney Jason Tulley, a D.C. public defender. Kerkhoff added that some of the items simply could not be sent to the jail, including the “sheer volume” of weapons seized by police and “mounds” of paperwork the government is digging through.
Jackson ruled that whenever possible, everything should be sent to both Gorbey and Tulley. Photographs of evidence that Gorbey cannot view in person should be sent to him, perhaps on a CD-ROM, Jackson added.
Kerkhoff told Jackson that prosecutors already are doing that and will continue to do so. But Kerkhoff added that the government has continued concerns that Gorbey does not understand how his trial will operate and the role certain officials play.
She presented Jackson with a 2007 diary entry that Gorbey kept during another trial in which he listed the names and addresses of jurors, referring to them as “witnesses.”
But Gorbey listed those jurors in his diary to highlight the people who witnessed the trial itself, not who served as actual witnesses during the proceedings, Tulley argued.
Jackson said he remains concerned that Gorbey doesn’t understand the logistical issues of court proceedings, adding that the April 15 status conference will in part be used to outline how the trial will be conducted.
Gorbey’s trial is set to begin on April 21.