Prosecutors request protective order in Jan. 6 case involving local residents


WASHINGTON — Prosecutors have asked a federal judge overseeing the criminal case against two Bartholomew County residents accused of assaulting law enforcement officers and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to issue a protective order on “sensitive” or “highly sensitive” information that may be disclosed during discovery.

The request comes after a federal judge set the conditions of release for the two Bartholomew County residents — Donald Lee Moss, 62, of Elizabethtown and James Link Behymer, 61, of Hope — and ordered them to appear in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on June 18, according to federal court filings.

The protective order, requested Tuesday, would include material that the United States has deemed “sensitive” or “highly sensitive,” including information on the government’s confidential sources, surveillance footage from the U.S. Capitol police, sources and methods that law enforcement have used, materials designated as “security information,” among other items.

Federal prosecutors also filed a motion asking the judge to allow them to disclose protected items to the defendants during discovery. They also requested that “any order granting this motion be made applicable to co-defendants who may later be joined.”

Discovery is the process through which parties gather information in preparation for a trial.

Last month, Moss and Behymer were released on personal recognizance following a hearing held via videoconference.

According to the terms of release, both defendants will be under the supervision of the Southern District of Indiana in the meantime. The two defendants had previously been placed on pretrial release by another judge earlier this month.

Moss and Behymer were arrested earlier this month on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement while a violent mob loyal to former President Donald Trump forced its way inside the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia told The Republic that defendants who are charged with a felony are required to appear in-person in the nation’s capital. Moss and Behymer have been charged with felony offenses of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers during the Capitol attack.

Last month, a federal judge also granted a request from prosecutors for a speedy trial against the two men. However, the judge ruled out setting a trial date before mid-June “in the interest of justice” and scheduled a preliminary status hearing on June 18, court filings state.

Under the terms of the release, the two men cannot leave the Southern District of Indiana unless authorized by federal authorities and are barred from possessing firearms and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, among other conditions.

Moss and Behymer are currently facing six criminal charges including assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; civil disorder; entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building or grounds, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint alleges that Moss and Behymer were part of a group of “angry and violent rioters” who descended upon and assaulted D.C. Metropolitan police officers near the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol who were attempting to keep them from breaching the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

Federal authorities said in the complaint they were able to identify the two Bartholomew County men through cell phone records — including a cellphone number with an 812 area code that connected to a cell site that provided service inside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection — as well as a witness described as “longtime associate of Moss and Behymer” who identified the two defendants after being shown still images.

The arrest of Moss and Behymer this week raises the total number of current and former Bartholomew County residents who have faced criminal charges over their alleged roles in the deadly insurrection to three.

In April 2021, former Columbus resident and heavy metal musician Jon Schaffer pleaded guilty to storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.