Judge agrees to remove electronic monitoring for East Texas man charged in Capitol riot

Local News

WASHINGTON (KETK) – A Washington D.C. federal judge agreed Friday morning that an East Texas man charged in the January Capitol riot could have his electronic monitoring removed.

Alex Harkrider, a 34-year-old Carthage native, was released on bond back in April until his trial. He is charged along with 30-year-old Ryan Nichols, a Longview resident, of several crimes stemming from the riot ranging from civil disorder to assaulting federal officers.

He filed a motion in late June to allow for electronic monitoring to be removed with his D.C.-based attorney heavily relying on the recommendation of his pre-trial officer Lupe Saucedo. The type of electronic monitoring used on Harkrider is not precise GPS monitoring, but rather a device that alerts authorities when he leaves his home.

Kira West, the lead defense attorney for Harkrider, argued that Saucedo’s report that he can “effectively supervise…on Mr. Harkrider just as effectively without the electronic location monitoring” that it should be removed.

She also stated that the device is a financial burden on Harkrider, whose only income is off disability checks he receives from the government stemming from injuries he sustained in military service. She also said that it was an embarrassment for Harkrider to go out with his son in public while wearing the device.

Department of Justice attorneys opposed the motion, stating that they were concerned that removing the device could make Harkrider less likely to comply with his conditions of bond. They also wrote in the motion earlier this month that DOJ officials also wrote that “the facts of this case are very concerning and the defendant has been indicted on very serious charges.”

Judge Thomas Hogan allowed for the monitoring to be removed as long as all conditions of the bond remained. Harkrider will still have to check in to Saucedo for any travel needs and must keep in regular contact with him.

The next hearing in the case will be held next week, but a day or time was not announced during the hearing. Hogan was nominated by President Regan and is now presiding over the case after initially being assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

She was recently confirmed by the Senate to the D.C. Court of Appeals and is a likely pick for a Supreme Court vacancy by President Biden.

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