Ohio man pleads not guilty in terrorism case

Christopher Paul(Photo: Franklin County Sheriff)
Christopher Paul(Photo: Franklin County Sheriff)

A Columbus man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he joined al-Qaida and plotted to attack Americans overseas. 43-year-old Christopher Paul entered his plea as he was arraigned Friday morning in federal court in Columbus.

A shackled Christopher Paul smiled briefly as he was led into federal court Friday morning. With his wrists bound together he had trouble signing a document his court appointed attorneys handed him. A soft-spoken Paul replied “Yes sir” when asked by Judge Gregory Frost if he understood the charges against him. Then he pleaded not guilty to all three counts including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and to providing material support to terrorists.

Paul waived his right to a detention hearing which means he remains in jail without bond.

Judge Frost set June 18th for the start of a jury trial though he acknowledged such an early date is not realistic.

None of the prosecuting or defense attorneys would speak to reporters afterward. Family and friends who were in the courtroom also declined to comment.