The Latest: US Capitol suspect planned State of Union attack


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on an Ohio man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

Federal authorities say an Ohio man planned to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of the Islamic State group during President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address.

That timing was disclosed Monday during a hearing in which Christopher Lee Cornell pleaded guilty to three federal charges, including offering material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees and a firearms charge.

Prosecutors plan to drop a fourth charge at sentencing scheduled for Oct. 31. They will seek a maximum 30 years in prison.

The FBI arrested Cornell in January 2015 after they say he bought two military rifles and ammunition. They said previously he planned also to attack with pipe bombs.

His father has blamed a “snitch” for misleading and coercing Cornell.

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11:20 a.m.

An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to charges in what federal authorities say was a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of the Islamic State group.

Twenty-two-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell pleaded guilty Monday morning in federal court in Cincinnati. He has been in jail since FBI agents arrested him in January 2015 outside a suburban gun shop where they said he had just bought two rifles and ammunition.

Cornell pleaded guilty in an agreement with prosecutors to charges including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees, offering material support to a terrorist organization and a firearms-related count.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith scheduled sentencing for Oct. 31. Prosecutors say they will ask for a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

Cornell had previously pleaded not guilty and his father claimed he was misled by “a snitch.”

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9 a.m.

An Ohio man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of the Islamic State group is due in court for a change-of-plea hearing.

Twenty-two-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from his January 2015 arrest. A change-of-plea hearing notice was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Such notices often signal plans to plead guilty.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith ruled in April that Cornell was competent to stand trial after his attorneys questioned his mental state.

FBI agents arrested Cornell in the parking lot of a gun shop near Cincinnati, saying he’d just bought two M-15 assault weapons and ammunition.

Cornell’s father said his son was misled and coerced by “a snitch.”

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