Feds charge 2 more Illinois women with joining U.S. Capitol riot
The case against Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco bring the number of known Illinois residents charged in the breach to 30. The feds say they became aware of the pair after someone shared photos that had been texted to their spouse by DiFrancesco.
The feds have charged two Illinois women with joining the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including one who they said appeared to be talking on a handheld radio during the breach, records show.
Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco are each charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to a criminal complaint.
The charges are misdemeanors.
Federal court records show both women are associated with an address in Elmhurst, though they also indicate Castle has a recent address in Chicago. Castle has also gone by Trudy DiFrancesco and Trudy von Keudell.
No attorney had been listed in court records for the women Thursday morning, and neither could immediately be reached for comment. The case against the pair brings the number of known Illinois residents charged in the breach to 30.
The feds say they became aware of the pair after someone shared photos that had been texted to their spouse by Kimberly DiFrancesco. Authorities said they then found images of Kimberly DiFrancesco wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, green pants, a black jacket and a black backpack approaching the Senate Wing Door of the Capitol at 2:19 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021.
Five minutes later, they said the same woman could be seen entering the Capitol through the Senate Wing Door. Next to her was a woman they believed to be Castle wearing a white jacket, dark pants, and a “Trump” knit hat carrying multiple small American flags and a black satchel.
The women allegedly made their way from the northwest side of the building to the elevator lobby near the Visitor Center on the southeast side of the building. At one point, the feds say Castle could be seen walking through a security door that had been used unsuccessfully to try to block access to a hallway. As it was opening, Castle allegedly used her arm either to protect her head or move the door up. Kimberly DiFrancesco could be seen following her, records show.
From there, the feds say the women could be seen making their way down to the lower-level Visitor Center, where Kimberly DiFrancesco appeared to be talking on a handheld radio.
The women exited the building at 3:02 p.m. but did not leave the vicinity, according to the feds. They allegedly sat outside and met up with a man the feds identified as Castle’s adult son.
At 4:21 p.m., the women allegedly tried to get back into the Capitol. But law enforcement pushed rioters away that time, and the women appeared to leave. At 4:33 p.m., they were seen on the north side of the building.
The feds say they interviewed a neighbor of Kimberly DiFrancesco’s and an employee of an apartment complex where Castle lived from 2014 until 2021, records show. The neighbor confirmed Kimberly DiFrancesco’s identity, and the employee confirmed Castle’s, according to the feds.