A Longview man charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol has been released from a Virginia jail pending his trial and ordered to home confinement under the custody of his wife.
As part of the conditions of his release, Ryan Nichols, 31, also was ordered to “stay away from Washington, D.C.” except for business related to his case, according to court documents. He also was ordered to avoid all contact with “anyone involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol ... including co-defendants.”
Nichols must remain in his home 24 hours a day except for medical and court exceptions and except for being permitted to attend Sunday church services at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview.
Nichols also must submit to “location monitoring technology” and not have access to the internet except to perform functions related to his case.
Nichols initially was ordered released earlier this month by U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, and conditions were set during a hearing this past week.
Hogan said earlier this month that he still considered Nichols a danger to the community, but that his incarceration in Rappahannock, Virginia, has made it impossible for him to access digital evidence in the case he that he needs to prepare for trial next year.
The judge previously rejected prosecutors’ request to have Nichols transferred to a facility in Lewisburg, Virginia, saying that facility has experienced similar issues with access to evidence.
Court documents show Nichols traveled to Washington, D.C., ahead of Jan. 6, 2021, with Alex Kirk Harkrider, 35, of Carthage.
Harkrider, who is also facing several charges in connection to the riots, was released in April ahead of trial. He has since successfully petitioned to have his ankle monitor removed twice to travel to Louisiana to help with hurricane relief.
Prosecutors have argued that Nichols viewed the 2020 election as fraudulent and was determined to prevent the congressional certification of the election results by any means necessary.
In Facebook posts prior to Jan. 6, Nichols called people who voted for President Joe Biden “‘true traitor(s) to the country,’ and called for violence against government officials, including President Biden and Vice President Pence.”
Text messages detail some planning for the trip to Washington, D.C., and also included Nichols’ interest in joining nationalist organization The Proud Boys.
“Ryan Nichols stands for violence,” Nichols said in an 11-minute video posted later that evening to Facebook, according to prosecutors. “I fought. I stormed up there against police, and I pushed them back.”
The following day, Nichols said he did “what I felt God told me to do.”