LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – In response to a motion to exclude “imaginary police deaths” from the trial of a Longview man facing over a dozen federal charges in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the government said his motion should be denied as moot.
U.S. attorneys said they plan to present evidence focused on “the defendant’s own words.”
Ryan Nichols, 32, filed a motion on March 10 for mentions of Capitol police deaths to be excluded from his trial, and argued “only demonstrators were killed, at the hands of an out of control police force.”
In their response, the government said Nichols’ request to call the Chief Medial Examiner as a witness to testify on the death of Officer Brian Sicknick should be denied due to the “danger of confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay and wasting time.”
“Their trial will be about the defendants’ particular conduct on Jan. 6. Therefore, the motion should be denied as moot,” the response said. “Evidence, which takes the form of the defendant’s own words during and in the aftermath will be offered for the purpose of proving the defendant’s intent.”
This evidence, according to the response, includes a Facebook livestream by Nichols from the Capitol where he states “if Pence caved, we’re gonna drag mother******s through the street” and announces to rioters using a bullhorn “they are talking about using lethal force against you. If you have a weapon, get your weapon.”
The response also said in the livestream Nichols told rioters a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed by police.
“No minors died during the Capitol riot,” the response said. “The government believes that Nichols was inaccurately referring to the death of Ashli Babbitt based on rumors that he had heard.”
The government concluded their argument by stating Nichols and his co-defendant Alex Harkrider should be kept from introducing evidence unrelated to the facts of their case.
“Nichols is seeking to make his trial not about his specific actions on Jan. 6, but instead as a means by which he may peddle in conjecture and conspiracy about the tragic events that day,” the response said.