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D.C. jail officials held in contempt over delayed medical care to accused Jan. 6 rioter

By Jake Thomas
D.C. jail officials held in contempt over delayed medical care to accused Jan. 6 rioter
The U.S. Capitol was tense after the Jan. 6 riot. Now a judge says an accused rioter was denied medical care while in custody. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A federal judge held two D.C. Department of Corrections officials in contempt and referred them for possible civil rights violations for delaying medical care to a man accused of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth on Wednesday sanctioned D.C. Jail Warden Wanda Patten and D.C. Department of Correction Director Quincy Booth, WUSA9 reported. The reason for the extraordinary move was a delay in handing over documents concerning a needed hand surgery for Christopher Worrell.

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Worrell, of Naples, Fla., was arrested in March and charged with multiple felonies for allegedly breaching the Capitol and assaulting law enforcement officers with other members of the far-right Proud Boys.

While being held in D.C. jail, Worrell broke his wrist in May and a specialist recommended surgery, according to WUSA9. Last week, Lamberth learned that the surgery still had not occurred. He ordered the D.C. Department of Corrections to turn over documents to the U.S. Marshals Service needed to move forward with approving it.

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With documents still not produced, Lamberth moved forward with sanctions for department officials. During the hearing, Lamberth admonished the officials, asking, "No one at the jail noticed he's been sitting there in pain this whole time?"

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"It is more than just inept and bureaucratic shuffling of papers," Lamberth said, according to CNN. "I find that the civil rights of the defendant have been abridged. I don't know if this is because he is a January 6 defendant or not."

Lamberth also indicated that he would refer the incident to the U.S. Department of Justice for possible civil rights violations.

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A lawyer for the D.C. Department of Corrections said the documents had been turned over Tuesday, and it had only been one full business day because of the Columbus Day holiday, WUSA9 reported. He said there was no need to hold the officials in contempt.

Alex Stavrou, an attorney for Worrell, said he had grave concerns for his client who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and has been recommended for a six-month course of chemotherapy and radiation. After the hearing, he said he was pleased with the outcome.

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