Missouri woman accused of violating probation in Jan. 6 case released from DC jail

Tribune Content Agency

A Springfield, Missouri woman being held without bond in a Washington, D.C., jail for allegedly violating probation in her Capitol riot case was released this week and ordered to be returned to Missouri.

Mahailya Pryer was to be taken immediately to a facility in Springfield to attend an inpatient substance abuse program, a federal judge ordered. The judge said she would return to D.C. later for a hearing on the violations.

Pryer, 35, pleaded guilty in May 2022 to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building and was sentenced in September to 45 days of incarceration, 36 months probation and 60 hours of community service. She also was ordered to participate in an inpatient substance abuse program and undergo drug testing.

But she was arrested in April for eight alleged probation violations and transported to Washington, where she was being held in the District of Columbia jail while awaiting a hearing on whether to revoke her probation.

Last week, however, U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui ordered Pryer to be released on Monday until the hearing. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

“The Court finds that the Defendant is not a flight risk,” Faruqui wrote in his May 31 order. “Furthermore, the Court finds that a combination of conditions — that is, home incarceration at an inpatient facility — could reasonably assure the safety of the community.”

Faruqui ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to transport Pryer to Springfield and to “provide subsistence to the Defendant to effect this transfer.”

A notification from the District of Columbia Department of Corrections said Pryer was released Monday by court order.

In his order, Faruqui said Pryer was to go directly to the inpatient treatment facility when she arrived in Springfield. Her home incarceration would begin there, he ordered, and she would be subject to location monitoring at the discretion of the U.S. Probation Office.

“The Defendant must remain at the inpatient facility for the duration of the treatment,” the judge’s order said. “The Defendant shall immediately notify her counsel and the U.S. Probation Office if she leaves this treatment facility for any reason.”

Prior to her release from the treatment facility, Faruqui said, he would hold a status hearing to determine whether there was a “viable place of residence” for her.

In his order, Faruqui said he found that Pryer couldn’t afford to pay for transportation back to D.C. for her probation violation hearing. He said that “the interest of justice would be served by ordering the United States Marshals Service to arrange for round trip travel for such hearing.”

“Thus, the United States Marshals Service shall provide for the Defendant’s noncustodial transportation or furnish the fare for such transportation to this Court for such future hearing,” he wrote.

Faruqui said the marshals service “shall further furnish the Defendant with an amount of money for subsistence expenses to this destination, not to exceed the amount authorized as a per diem allowance for travel…”

If Pryer fails to comply with any of the order’s provisions, Faruqui ruled, he will issue a warrant for her arrest.

The government had objected to Faruqui’s findings and asked that Pryer remain incarcerated.

Among the alleged probation violations are that Pryer “continues to associate with known drug users and individuals involved in the criminal justice system,” operated a motor vehicle on four occasions without a valid license or insurance, possessed methamphetamine on four occasions, failed to make any effort to get a job and failed to attend substance abuse treatment.

“According to the supervision officer, Ms. Pryer presents as if she is intentionally committing violations and not being truthful because she does not believe there are consequences,” said a report from the U.S. Probation Office filed with the court on April 23.

Court records show that Pryer was arrested by a deputy U.S. Marshal on May 1 for the alleged violations. After a May 3 hearing in federal court in Springfield, she was moved to Washington to attend her hearings in person.

Pryer and another Springfield woman, Cara Hentschel, breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and were charged with four misdemeanors. Both women were on probation or bond for prior felony convictions at the time.

Hentschel was sentenced to 45 days in a “residential re-entry center,” 36 months probation, 60 hours of community service and a $500 fine. She and Pryer also were required to pay $500 restitution for damage to the Capitol building on Jan. 6, which prosecutors say totaled more than $2.8 million.

At her sentencing, Pryer told the judge that “I am very, very apologetic for what happened on January 6. I do think that it’s a horrible thing. … I’m very remorseful for what I’ve done, the harm that I caused.”