Federal court allows rare severance from co-defendants for accused Capitol rioter from Florida

A Lakeland man accused in the January 6th Capitol riots, along with four co-defendants, has been granted a rare separation from the others in his case.

Joshua Doolin has been charged with two misdemeanors: trespassing and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. His alleged coconspirators – Michael Perkins, Joseph Hutchinson, Olivia Polluck, and Jonathan Polluck, who remains a fugitive –  face charges of assaulting law enforcement. 

MORE: Prosecutors believe four Lakeland defendants could be helping accused Capitol Riot fugitive

Doolin claimed he would not get a fair trial if he was grouped with the others and D.C. District Judge Carl Nichols agreed.  

Defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand, who is not connected to this case, also agreed. 

"It makes perfect sense, what the judge did in allowing severance in that particular case," explained Brunvand.

In court documents filed in February, Doolin said he believed a jury would convict him on evidence linked to the others.

"He's charged with two misdemeanors, basically trespassing and being disorderly on the Capitol grounds. The others are charged with assaulting law enforcement, so the concern is if there is testimony about the others assaulting law enforcement, that will spill over on his case and therefore won't get a fair trial," Brunvand explained.

Earlier this year, Doolin's attorney announced his client was ready for trial and now will go at it alone.

"It’s rare that cases are severed in the federal system but his appears to be a case where it was absolutely appropriate and I would have asked for the same thing," explained Brunvand.

Doolin's trial is set for Septembe12, 2022. His codefendants are scheduled for trial in January 2023.