WASHINGTON (KETK) – A Carthage man that was arrested earlier this year for his involvement in the Capitol riot in January has been released on bond until his trial.
Alex Harkrider, 34, is accused along with 30-year-old Ryan Nichols, a Longview native, of several crimes stemming from the riot, ranging from civil disorder to assaulting federal officers.
Judge Thomas F. Hogan, a President Reagan nominee, ruled in favor of Harkrider after lengthy testimony. A status hearing will be held on June 15 for both Harkrider and Nichols.
His Washington D.C. attorney, Kira West, tore into the FBI investigation, calling it “sloppy” and “full of misrepresentations and assumptions.”
“Like thousands of others, Mr. Harkrider was responding to the entreaties of the then Commander-in-Chief President Donald Trump. The President maintained that the election had been ‘stolen’ and that it was the duty of loyal citizens to “stop the steal.” [He] did not act out of criminal intent but out of sense of duty.“
Harkrider’s lawyers made several claims in the 16-page motion about his involvement that stand in direct contradiction with what investigators presented in their arrest affidavit.
They write that he has cooperated since at least 15 officers arrested him in January. When he was taken into custody, police threw a flashbang device to help subdue him.
In the motion, his lawyers claimed that the Capitol had already been breached by the time Harkrider reached the building and that he “never damaged federal property, never threatened law enforcement.
However, in the affidavit, there are screenshots of video from the FBI where they alleged that both Nichols and Harkrider were “pushing with the large crowd against the same entrance to the U.S. Capitol that was guarded by U.S. Capitol Police.
A separate photo from Snapchat that was included in the arrest warrant showed Harkrider inside the Capitol with a caption that read: “We’re in. 2 people killed already. We need all the patriots of this country to rally the f*** up and fight for our freedom or it’s gone forever. Give us liberty or give us death.”
His lawyers claim, without evidence, that the photo “could be easily doctored.” and that the detective “had no idea how the writing got on the photo.”