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Federal grand jury indicts Cornell in Capitol plot

A federal grand jury has now indicted the Green Township man accused of planning an attack on the U.S. Capitol. Chris Cornell faces charges of attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and solicitation to commit violence.

Cornell has a hearing Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in federal court.

Court documents say he planned to build, plant and detonate pipe bombs at and near the Capitol and then use firearms to shoot and kill employees and officers there.

Last week the FBI arrested  him at a Colerain Township gun shop after he bought two semi-automatic weapons and 600 rounds of ammunition.

The Justice Department says he had packed his bags and left a note for his parents.

At Friday's detention hearing Cornell stood shackled, wearing an orange and white jumpsuit, and said nothing while the Assistant U.S. Attorney argued why he should stay in jail without bond.

Tim Mangan said Cornell is a threat to the public and a flight risk. But Cornell's public defender argued her client has never been in serious trouble before, doesn't drink or use drugs, and lives with his parents, so they could watch him.

Magistrate Stephanie Bowen said his parents were watching him and he still allegedly plotted to attack the Capitol building. She denied bond. Outside the courtroom the suspect's father, John Cornell said there was no way his son could have come up with this plan on his own and he was coerced and tricked into it.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.