Two East Texans charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol will be transported to Washington, D.C., and held without bond.
Ryan Nichols, 30, of Longview, and Alex Harkrider, 33, of Carthage, will remain in custody until trial after a federal court ruling this past week in Tyler .
The Jan. 22 hearing included evidence against both men that federal Judge K. Nicole Mitchell ruled as “clear and convincing evidence that there are no conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of the community and has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a serious risk that the defendant will flee or not appear in court when required.”
In the detention order for Nichols, Mitchell noted that she is concerned about the evidence presented that painted a picture “not of a peaceful protest that got out of hand, but of a planned, predetermined attempt to attack the Capitol building.”
“Text messages lay out a plan to take weapons and to acquire body armor along the way,” Mitchell said in court documents of the men’s trip earlier this month from East Texas to Washington, D.C. “The government presented evidence showing threats and antagonizing language towards the crowd. The evidence shows that (Nichols’) intent was not to participate in a peaceful act.”
Mitchell said she also was concerned about evidence of “other hostile acts” by Nichols in the past as well as a history of substance abuse.
In a detention order for Harkrider, Mitchell said she was concerned about text messages discussing bringing firearms to the Capitol as well as “evidence that (Harkrider) did bring a weapon with him onto the Capitol grounds, and video evidence of the defendant entering the Capitol building.”
“The defendant’s mental health history and past abuse of alcohol also support detention,” Mitchell said of Harkrider in the order.
Nichols is charged with: conspiracy and unlawful entry with dangerous weapon; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; civil disorder; assault on a federal officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon; and aiding and abetting.
Harkrider is charged with: conspiracy and unlawful entry with dangerous weapon; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and aiding and abetting.
No court date has been set.
In videos posted to social media referenced in the court documents, Nichols is seen yelling into a bullhorn outside the Capitol, “If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon!” In another video, Nichols yells to the gathered crowd, “This is the second revolution right here folks! ... This is not a peaceful protest.”
Court documents say the FBI found photographs, screenshots from social media and video “depicting both men present and engaged in criminal activity during the assault on the U.S. Capitol.”
In other photographs and video, Nichols and Harkrider are seen standing on the ledge of a Capitol window that is broken, with Nichols holding a bullhorn and a crowbar, according to court documents.
Nichols also is accused of shooting pepper spray at federal officers.
The FBI also obtained photos and video footage from Harkrider’s Snapchat account. In one of those photos, Harkrider is seen inside the Capitol building with the caption: “We’re in. 2 people killed already. We need all the patriots of this country to rally the (expletive) up and fight for our freedom or it’s gone forever. Give us liberty, or give us death. We won’t stand for it.”