A federal judge ruled that a Carthage man facing charges in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot can have his ankle monitor removed as part of his pretrial release conditions.

Alex Harkrider, 34, in June asked for the removal of the ankle monitor he was required to wear and claimed the $110-per-month cost was a “financial, emotional and physical hardship” for him. Harkrider’s attorney filed a motion for the change with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Judge Thomas F. Hogan on Friday lifted the location monitoring component of the pretrial release.

“The defendant shall continue to seek approval to participate in activities in advance by the pretrial services officer, such as volunteer activities and other activity requests as pretrial deems appropriate,” the judge ruled. “All previously imposed conditions of release remain in place.”

Harkrider was indicted along with Ryan Nichols, 30, of Longview, on charges that they participated in the U.S. Capitol riot.

Harkrider is charged with civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, theft of government property, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on capitol grounds or buildings, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.

Hogan granted Harkrider pretrial release in April, putting him on house arrest with electronic monitoring. Nichols remains in federal custody.

Kira Anne West, Harkrider’s attorney, argued in June that the court should not have reservations about Harkrider not following his bond conditions, saying Harkrider has been compliant with his pretrial officer and that the officer can monitor Harkrider’s compliance without electronic monitoring.

“Now, nearly two months later, this court should no longer have any reservations about Mr. Harkrider’s ability to follow the orders of the court or any other government agency,” West wrote. “Mr. Harkrider has a perfect record of compliance with pretrial.”

Federal prosecutors argued against the removal of the ankle monitor, saying Harkrider still poses a danger to the community.

Harkrider, they argue, is facing serious charges and stands accused of traveling to Washington, D.C. with guns, a ballistic vest and a Tomahawk axe “in a misguided effort to obstruct the historically peaceful transition of power and overthrow the government.”

“While he was ultimately unsuccessful, his actions on January 6, 2021 were appallingly dangerous,” prosecutors wrote. “He forced his way into the United States Capitol, armed with a weapon and prepared for a violent confrontation.”

Prosecutors said they also believed that former President Donald Trump’s continued false election claims, his insinuation that he would be reinstalled as president and his downplaying of the Capitol riot are another reason to keep Harkrider’s ankle monitor because Harkrider’s actions stemmed from the apparent belief in Trump’s claims that the November election was fraudulent.

West filed a reply to the prosecutors Thursday.

“The government assumes facts not in evidence when it states Mr. Harkrider’s intention was ‘to obstruct the historically peaceful transition of power and overthrow the government.’” West said. “Moreover, Mr. Harkrider did not ‘force his way into the capitol.’ The window he went through was already broken and 20-30 people were already in the small area where Mr. Harkrider allegedly entered. The government is misstating the facts.”

West further described the conditions of the pretrial release as “deprivation of liberty.”

“Government has proffered no evidence to support its contention that Mr. Harkrider currently stands in agreement with any statement made since January 6, 2021, by former President Trump,” West said. “Thus, the Government’s efforts to rely on the former President’s more recent statements to oppose Mr. Harkrider’s motion amount to nothing more than fear-mongering and reliance on a kind of guilt-by-supposed-association.”

West said “Harkrider’s life has been completely upended.” To help with his PTSD, she said he would like to do community service and volunteer work.

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Courtney Stern is a public safety reporter covering a wide range of topics. She grew up in Baltimore and later earned a journalism degree from the University of Miami. Stern moved to East Texas from Iowa with her husband and two dogs, Pebbles and Bam Bam.