A district judge partially released Marine Corps veteran Ryan Nichols from pre-trial detention Thursday, coinciding with the Marine Corps’ 247th anniversary, after the defendant spent 20 months in prison for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to Nichols’ attorney.
Judge Thomas Hogan said Nichols still represents a danger to society for his alleged conduct during the riot, leading to multiple counts of obstruction, violence and disorderly conduct, Politico reported. Nichols spent 20 months at a detention facility in Rappahannock, Virginia, before Hogan released him, allowing him to gather evidence needed to make his case at his upcoming trial. (RELATED: Federal Prosecutors Are Branding Non-Violent Jan 6 Defendants As ‘Terrorists’ To Pursue Harsher Sentences)
Prosecutors claim Nichols plotted to commit acts of violence during the massive protests on Jan. 6, in which hundreds of Americans who believed the election had been stolen from former President Donald Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol building, according to court documents. Congress featured a video of Nichols in their extensive hearings for the Jan. 6 Committee.
The defendant has said he wasn’t involved in the alleged violence.
Hogan found the Rappahannock detention facility lacked the infrastructure to allow Nichols access to digital materials they would need to present a defense at trial, according to Politico.
“The judge acknowledged difficulties with Ryan preparing for trial and access to his discovery. His release is for limited exception of being able to prepare for trial at home … so he can digest the voluminous digital information related to his case,” Nichols’ attorney, Joseph McBride, told a reporter for The American Greatness. Nichols also noted that Nov. 10 is the Marine Corps’ birthday.
McBride claimed before the court that the detention facility deprived Nichols of his right to exercise his conscience, faced discrimination for his race and religion, that his conversations were illegally monitored and that he suffered a form of retaliation for speaking out against alleged abuse, according to court filings first disclosed by American Progress.
Nichols’ lawyer claims the defendant suffered solitary confinement and had his belongings stripped from him, Politico reported.
There will be a subsequent hearing on Nov. 22 to establish the terms of Nichols’ limited release, which could include monitoring devices and restrictions on Nichols’ access to the internet, Politico reported.
Today I argued for Marine Corps veteran, Ryan Nichols’s pre-trial release in DC District Court.
Today is also the Marine Corps 247th Birthday. And on this day, Judge Hogan granted our application for pre-trial release to give Ryan the ability to prepare for trial. #SemperFidelis pic.twitter.com/4CibxrK5Sj
— Joseph D. McBride, Esq. (@McBrideLawNYC) November 10, 2022
“We’re not going to have our election or our country stolen. If we find out you politicians voted for it, we’re going to drag your fucking ass through the streets,” Nichols allegedly said during the protests, according to court documents.
Nichols allegedly grew emotional after the announcement of his release, embracing his lawyer before they parted ways, according to Politico.
Authorities transferred Nichols from a correctional facility in Washington, D.C., to the one in Virginia after an alleged violent incident, one Nichols has denied, Politico reported.
Judge Hogan further denied McBride’s claims officials conspired to thwart Nichols’ defense, Politico reported.
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