Suburban Chicago women charged in Jan 6 attack on US Capitol expected to plead guilty

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Suburban women charged in Jan 6 attack expected to plead guilty
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Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco, both of Elmhurst, were in the crowd of rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to the FBI.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A pair of Elmhurst women have made a quick turnaround from their arrest on June 1st to planned guilty pleas Wednesday.

According to the FBI, Trudy Castle and her relative Kimberly DiFrancesco were in the crowd of rioters who crashed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Now they are on the verge of trying to put this behind them - and they are not alone.

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More than 40% of the 850 people charged with federal crimes committed on January 6th have pleaded guilty.

Castle and DiFrancesco are among at least 31 Illinoisans charged.

According to charges filed against them in early June, the pair traveled from metro Chicago to Washington D.C. and they were seen on numerous security and closed circuit video cameras inside and around the Capitol.

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A tipster contacted the FBI and provided some photos that authorities said one of the woman had sent to friends from inside the Capitol during the riot.

They typify what's happening as people who are mostly charged with misdemeanors, try to get on with their lives after the criminal filings of January 6th.

The average January 6th case length currently is 45 weeks.

For the suburban Chicago women, it has taken less than 11 weeks from their arrest to Wednesday morning's expected guilty pleas documented by federal court records in Washington.

And according to the George Washington University Program on Extremism, there are a sizable portion of January 6th defendants pleading guilty. The legal tracker shows a growing percentage of people who will not take their cases to trial and are likely to face sentences of probation.

For the Elmhurst women, that quick turnaround will take a bit more time. There will still have to be a future sentencing date.

So far across the U.S., more than 230 people have been sentenced --including a former Virginia police officer who was sentenced Tuesday to probation and home confinement after testifying against his supervisor that they had conspired to obstruct the congressional election certification on January 6th.