U.S. rioters, Jan. 6, Capitol

Judge Grants Release To Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Suspect Despite Prosecutors’ Objections

Edward Richmond Jr. had been arrested after authorities raided his Louisiana home and found an AR-15 and ammunition on Jan. 22.

Edward Richmond Jr., who was arrested following a raid on his Louisiana residence where authorities discovered an AR-15 rifle and ammunition on Jan. 22, has been granted release by a judge despite objections from federal prosecutors. According to The Associated Press, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyman Thornton III argued that Richmond posed a risk due to his “very aggressive posture toward law enforcement” and a history of violence, including the fatal shooting of a handcuffed Iraqi detainee when he was 20 years old. Thornton further asserted that Richmond’s alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection was indicative of “a culmination of deep-seated anger toward law enforcement.”

However, following a detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wilder-Doomes ruled in favor of Richmond’s release on Jan. 23. Wilder-Doomes reasoned that the hearing revealed Richmond’s connections to his community and portrayed him as a devoted parent, leading to the decision for his release.

Richmond’s defense lawyer, John McLindon, argued that his client had not been “hiding or running” during the three years since the insurrection occurred, saying, “My client knew about this problem, coming up on two years now, and he has not fled.” On the same day that law enforcement searched his home, according to NBC News, Richmond was arrested and charged with civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, as well as assaulting, resisting, or impeding police with a dangerous weapon in connection with the assault on the Capitol.

According to an affidavit from an FBI agent, Richmond, who lives in Geismar, Louisiana, wore a helmet, shoulder pads, goggles, and a Louisiana state patch on his chest when he assisted in the assault on the Capitol, eventually assaulting police using a baton in a tunnel outside the Capitol.  

Online “sedition hunters” assisted the FBI in identifying Richmond based on photos pulled from surveillance cameras. Richmond had maintained a spot as No. 182 on the FBI’s Capitol Violence website, the agency’s version of “America’s Most Wanted” list for those it suspects of participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection. According to NBC News, hundreds of additional participants in the Capitol riots have been identified but have yet to be charged for their roles. 

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