St. Thomas Lawyer Answers the Call: Representing Capitol Riot Defendant in D.C.

A lawyer based in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, has been summoned to Washington, D.C., to defend a client involved in the Capitol storming on January 6. Matthew Campbell, a federal public defender, is facing a demanding schedule as he handles two high-profile cases in his local jurisdiction while also taking on the responsibilities of representing individuals charged in connection with the uprising.

The federal government has enlisted the support of lawyers from across the country, including Alaska and Puerto Rico, to aid in the prosecution of more than half of the cases related to the January 6 events. Federal public defenders and those willing to serve in that capacity have also been sought to represent approximately one-third of the defendants who lack the financial means to hire private attorneys.

In these cases, it is a requirement for government lawyers to travel to the jurisdictions where the hearings are taking place. While Campbell has not confirmed his involvement with the January 6 cases, a motion filed in another case involving allegations of sexual assault cited his commitments in Washington, D.C., as a reason to postpone the sentencing of Alfredo Bruce Smith. The motion identified several upcoming appearance dates in January 2024 leading up to the scheduled trial of John Richter.

Richter is among those accused of unlawfully entering the Capitol building to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Due to his name coinciding with that of a White House staffer serving under President Joe Biden, the prosecution of the case encountered complications.

In addition to his Washington, D.C., duties, Campbell is also representing Richardson Dangleben Jr., who stands accused of fatally shooting Police Detective Deberth Phipps Jr. on July 4. The trial, initially set for December 11, was declared a complex litigation on November 23, resulting in the rescheduling of the trial date to October 28, 2024.

Overall, the ongoing legal duties related to the January 6 events have drawn a St. Thomas lawyer to the nation’s capital, where he will handle a significant caseload while balancing his responsibilities in the Virgin Islands.