A federal judge in Iowa issued an order Monday putting off trial for Kuachua Brillion Xiong until Feb. 5 in Council Bluffs, with a deadline of Jan. 5 for Xiong to agree to a deal that would avoid trial.
“The Court will not accept any plea agreement that dismisses counts or provides for a specific sentence ... after that date,” U.S. District Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger wrote in a three-page order.
Xiong, a 27-year-old Merced grocery clerk who was arrested as he drove across the country with an AR-15 in his car and a GPS set for directions to the White House, had been ordered to go to trial Dec. 4 unless he agreed to plead guilty to some charges by Nov. 2.
But that deadline was pushed back after Xiong’s lawyer asked for more time to continue plea agreement talks with federal prosecutors, who did not oppose the delay.
Xiong has been in custody since his arrest Dec. 21, 2021, and at one point his lawyer indicated he would pursue an insanity defense.
Xiong since has been found competent to stand trial.
He faces charges of attempting to kill or kidnap Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris; making threats against both of them; threatening to kill or kidnap former President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; making threats against then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence.