Marcus Hutchins, AKA MalwareTech, just plead not guilty at his arraignment in Milwaukee, WI. After the hearing, his attorney, Marcia Hofmann, called him a “hero” and said he would be fully vindicated.
A dramatic change in the tone of the government suggested that might well be the case. Whereas at Hutchins’ Las Vegas hearing, the government used his appearance at a tourist-focused gun range in an attempt to deny him bail, here, the government was amenable to lifting many of the restrictions on his release conditions. Hutchins will be able to live in Los Angeles, where his other attorney, Brian Klein, is. He will be able to continue working. He can travel throughout the US, though he cannot leave the country (though his defense tried to get him released to the UK).
About the only major restriction — aside from GPS monitoring and monitoring by pretrial services — is that he can’t touch the WannaCry sinkhole.
The government’s attorney, Michael Chmelar, described Hutchins’ alleged crimes as “historic,” a seeming concession that he’s not currently a threat. That said, while the government had not deemed this a complex crime when they indicted Hutchins back on July 11, Chmelar said he expected they would do so in the coming weeks. The trial is currently scheduled for October, but with a complex designation, that will slide.
Chmelar said that they had or would turn over today both Hutchins’ FBI interview, as well as two other recorded phone calls. The rest of discovery will be delayed until the defense signs a protection order.
Perhaps the funniest part of the hearing came when the lawyers tried to help Magistrate William Duffin understand what a “sinkhole” is.
Update: Fixed spelling of Hofmann’s last name–sorry Marcia!
Update: Forgot to mention — the case was assigned to JP Stadtmueller, a 75-year old Reagan appointee, formerly the Chief Judge of EDWI.