Longview man accused in Jan. 6 riot granted release from jail for pre-trial preparation

Longview man allowed to head back to ETX ahead of trial
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 1:49 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:39 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Gray TV) - A Longview man accused of assaulting an officer on Jan. 6, 2021 is on his way home from a Washington D.C. jail.

A federal judge ruled Ryan Nichols could not adequately prepare for trial from a jail cell. Nichols’ wife and mother traveled to Washington federal District Court on for Nichols’s hearing on Tuesday. A federal judge ruled Nichols can prepare for trial from home in his wife Bonnie’s custody.

Judge Thomas Hogan was concerned that Bonnie Nichols could be a risk to supervise her husband – as she has made comments in the past indicating she believes Ryan was a political prisoner. But she swore an oath in court that she will honor her duties – and she is happy to have her husband back after nearly two years in jail.

“I am feeling very blessed to be able to spend the holidays with him and our children. It’s been a long time,” Bonnie Nichols said.

Before Jan. 6, Nichols, a Marine Corps veteran, made the news for helping rescue hurricane victims. On the day of the attack on the Capitol, he is seen holding a crowbar and telling rioters it was not a peaceful protest. In a social media post shortly after, Nichols also said he stood for violence.

Attorney Joseph McBride said his client is innocent and had no bad intentions when approaching the Capitol.

“What transpired wasn’t perfect, but his actions when he left the house that day were grounded in the First Amendment, and when he approached the Capitol. His actions were grounded in his instincts to help people, not to hurt anyone,” McBride said.

Nichols will be monitored on radio frequency – as GPS is not available in his area in Longview. His internet access will be limited to legal websites and he will not be allowed to leave his property, with the exception of attending church on Sundays.

Nichols was released from federal custody in Washington, D.C. immediately following Tuesday’s hearing.

Judge Hogan would like to hold the trial in March or April.