Four Kansas City-area Proud Boys appear in federal court; alleged leader to remain in custody

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WASHINGTON — Four metro residents charged in the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol were in federal court Friday. One will remain in custody ahead of trial.

The FBI arrested William Norman Chrestman, of Olathe; Christopher Charles Kuehne, of Olathe; Louis Enrique Colon, of Blue Springs; and Ryan Ashlock, of Gardner, and each of them are facing numerous charges.

Chrestman, 47, faces conspiracy, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

He is being held in federal custody in Leavenworth as prosecutors argue he’s a danger to the community and a flight risk. Chrestman appeared in court via Zoom with his newly appointed lawyer, Peter Cooper. 

Chrestman’s lawyer in Kansas argued the alleged Proud Boy was acting on Trump’s orders at the time of the attack

“It is an astounding thing to imagine storming the United States Capitol with sticks and flags and bear spray, arrayed against armed and highly trained law enforcement,” Chrestman’s attorney said. “Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who had been paying attention would very much believe he did.”

His lawyer asked for a hearing on March 19 to give him time to confer with his new client and familiarize himself with the case. He will be held without bond.

Federal prosecutor Jacob Steiner said all the cases heard were uniquely complex in terms of discovery with a massive amount of video, posts and data to go through.

Keuhne appeared with his Washington D.C.-based criminal defense lawyer, Marina Medvian. 

The 47-year-old was charged with civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer, knowingly entering, or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

In arguing terms for his release, his lawyer described him as a combat Marine and Purple Heart recipient. Medivan said he is husband, father and full-time student with good grades.

She said Keuhne and Chrestman are distinctively different. She claimed Keuhne didn’t break anything or hurt anyone inside the Capitol, and Keuhne stopped others from breaking things, stealing items, and smoking in the building. 

Medivan said when things calmed down, Keuhne began cleaning up the building, apologized to officers about what happened, and asked them how he could help.

“He is the most responsible defendant,” Medivan said.

Steiner told the judge Keuhne was “dressed for war” and, by entering the Capitol, he made the situation all the more dangerous. 

Ultimately, Keuhne will be released without home confinement or monitoring. However, he will not be allowed to have a gun or any dangerous weapon. He will have to surrender his passport, all travel will need to be approved, and he must check in with the court once a week. He will not be allowed to visit Washington D.C. unless it is specifically for court and approved, and he’s not allowed to speak to witnesses or co-defendants in this case.

He will be back in court March 19 for a preliminary hearing.

Colon appeared via Zoom along with his Kansas City-based lawyer, James Hobbs. Colon agreed to the terms of house arrest and monitoring. He will be able to travel in the metro for work and was concerned about the ability to pick up his 17-year-old son from high school. 

Like Keuhne, he will not be allowed to have a gun or any dangerous weapon. He will have to surrender his passport, all travel will need to be approved, and he must check in with the court once a week. He will not be allowed to visit Washington D.C. unless it is specifically for court and approved, and he’s not allowed to speak to witnesses or co-defendants in this case.

The 44-year-old faces civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

He will be back in court April 28 for a status hearing.

Ashlock appeared in court with his lawyer.

He has been federally charged with conspiracy, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, obstruction of justice/Congress, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.

Court documents say Ashlock conspired with five other members of the Proud Boys, three of which are Kansas City metro residents, who have already been charged in the riots.

Ashlock will be released ahead of trial under the same conditions as Colon. He is expected back in court March 19.

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