Scheduling error causes hearing delay for Cleveland, Tennessee, man charged in Jan. 6 Capitol breach

New hearing date set Aug. 10

The hearing for a Cleveland, Tennessee, man charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach at the U.S. Capitol was reset Wednesday after the judge in the case was told an error had been made that caused the accused man not to be able to appear.

In April, Joseph Lino "Jose" Padilla, 41, was set for a hearing 11 a.m. Wednesday via teleconference in Washington, D.C., but when District Judge John D. Bates called the case, court officials said they were still waiting on Padilla to arrive from jail. And then there was some bad news.

"Your honor, I have some unfortunate news: My supervisor just let me know she dropped the ball on this case and did not schedule Mr. Padilla with the D.C. jail," a court official who did not identify herself said during Wednesday's teleconference hearing.

Bates said the case would have to be rescheduled because Padilla was not present due to the error.

Another court official told Bates that Padilla's lawyer, Michael Cronkright, had communicated with him Tuesday and again Wednesday about the matter and seemed to want another 60 days for a status hearing.

(READ MORE: Tennessee man charged with assault in Capitol breach)

Bates didn't like the delay.

"I told counsel that I expected that we would today be making that kind of decision in terms of the course of this case," Bates said, "but I don't want to get into it without the defendant being present so I guess I'll have to leave that alone."

Bates drew a strict line at the 60-day mark.

"When we're next together we're going to set a trial date at the earliest possible date or schedule something else if that is what the parties wish," he said.

Bates reset the status hearing for Aug. 10 at 12:15 p.m.

Padilla has remained in federal custody there since his arrest Feb. 23, 2021, and pleaded not guilty in the case March 30, 2021, court records show.

The hearing was Bates to be updated on the status of discovery in the case regarding issues raised by Cronkright during a previous hearing April 6 when Cronkright told Bates he was having ongoing trouble getting his client access to case evidence and was finding it nearly impossible to have confidential, face-to-face meetings with Padilla at the Washington, D.C., jail where he's being held.

Rebeka Padilla, Padilla's wife, declined to comment when contacted by phone Wednesday. An employee in Cronkright's office said in a telephone conversation this week that there would be no comments from that office on Padilla's case outside of court testimony.

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Padilla's charges in a new indictment on which he has not yet been arraigned reduce some counts making the formerly 12-count indictment a nine-count indictment, according to federal court documents.

In the new indictment, Padilla is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; civil disorder; assaulting, resisting or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly conduct in the Capitol grounds or buildings; and committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

In the new indictment, three counts of civil disorder were reduced to one and two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon was also reduced to a single count.

The FBI's Feb. 22, 2021, criminal complaint charging Padilla, identified by a tipster who saw him in videos from Jan. 6, 2021, states he was seen in footage from a Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia officer's body camera wearing a scuba mask and pushing a police barricade line shouting, "Push! Push! --ing push!"

Padilla was captured in other footage from the breach pushing the barricade, and police officers removed his scuba mask and began pushing him and striking him with a police baton "to get him to stop," the complaint states. Another video showed Padilla helping others move a large, metal-framed sign on wheels toward the barricade, where it was used as a battering ram against police, the complaint states.

"Padilla and numerous other rioters began to mass in front of a law enforcement line inside the archway of the U.S. Capitol Lower West Terrace doors. He throws the flagpole at the officers, who are simultaneously being attacked by rioters," the complaint states of actions that happened in the hours that followed. The complaint includes images and descriptions of those actions.

Padilla since his arrest has continued to seek release, but Bates in detaining him has maintained he "poses a concrete, prospective threat to the safety of the community," court documents state.

Monday marked 17 months since the Capitol breach, and more than 840 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Department of Justice monthly snapshot of case action released Wednesday.

Approximately 305 individuals have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges, many of whom faced or will face incarceration at sentencing, and six people have been found guilty at trials, officials said.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.