Longview man charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot requests pre-trial release

Local News

Alex Harkrider (left) and Ryan Nichols (right) in a photo at the Capitol Riot taken from a Facebook post from Nichols. (Photo via The Justice Department)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KETK) – An East Texas man in jail for participation in the riot on Capitol Hill has asked for a pre-trial release.

Ryan Nichols has been charged with several crimes, including an ‘act of violence in the Capitol’. In a court filing dated Nov. 1, he asked to be released on a personal recognizance.

Nichols’s charges include:

  • Civil Disorder
  • Obstruction of an Official Proceeding
  • Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers Using A Dangerous Weapon
  • Theft of Government Property
  • Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly Weapon
  • Disorderly Conduct in a Restricted Building with a Deadly Weapon
  • Unlawful Possession of a Dangerous Weapon on Capitol Grounds
  • Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
  • Act of Physical Violence in the Capitol
  • Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in the Capitol

According to the filing, Nichols “categorically denies each charge and is eager to prove his innocence at trial.” He is being tried alongside Alex Harkrider, who was released on bond in April.

The request for release, filed by New York-based attorney Joseph D. McBride, said that Nichols “is an excellent candidate for pretrial release.”

The filing said that pretrial detainees are more entitled to considerate treatment because they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Nichols has been detained for 280 days.

The filing claimed that Nichols has not been able to visit with his children over video call in almost six months, saying this is psychologically damaging to him and his family.

In addition to that, the filing said that Nichols is a Marine veteran with PTSD, which is a pre-existing condition that they say is being worsened by his confinement in a DC jail.

If his request for personal recognizance is denied, he requests that he be released on Third Party Custody and placed into the High Intensive Supervision Program of the Pretrial Services Agency with reasonable conditions including electronic monitoring, work release and curfew.

BACKSTORY:

An investigation into Nichols and Harkrider was prompted by two witnesses who reported to the FBI that the two men were at the Capitol the day of the riot and posted to social media about it.

Investigators found photos, including screenshots of Nichols’ Facebook page and video posted on the internet of both men present during the Jan. 6 riot.

The FBI affidavit said that a video posted online shows Nichols yelling into a bullhorn, “This is the second revolution right here folks! […] This is not a peaceful protest.” This was as “at least dozens” of people were pushing through an entrance to get inside the U.S. Capitol.

The affidavit said that, during a video, Nichols can be seen taking “a large, red aerosol canister from another person in the crowd and spraying an unknown agent, believed based on its appearance to be OC/pepper spray, in the direction of the entrance into the U.S. Capitol building, where federal law enforcement officers were engaged in the performance of official duties.”

Screenshots from that incident show the man they believe to be Nichols based on his clothing– a Marine Corps camo hat, American flag face covering and yellow gloves. He was also holding a bullhorn and a crowbar.

Screenshot of the video taken from the FBI affidavit
Screenshot of the video taken from the FBI affidavit

The affidavit also said that Nichols can be seen inside the Capitol building with Harkrider.

From the FBI affidavit

Also listed in the affidavit was a post by Nichols on Facebook, saying

“Patriots stood their ground today! We aren’t done yet, either! You want to steal our election, and not hear us in court? Good! Now you’ll hear our civil unrest!”

From the FBI affidavit

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