Longview man wants trial delayed to view recently released Capitol riot footage
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Attorneys for a Longview man indicted for his alleged actions during the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 are fighting for a continuance order.
Ryan Nichols, 32, of Longview, is facing federal charges and his attorneys, Joseph McBride and Bradford Geyer, argue that more time is needed to “receive, review and evaluate new information that will soon be public” that they say was previously unavailable. The request states that some 41,000 hours of closed circuit TV footage relevant to the incident on January 6 has been made available. Nichols’ attorneys say this is more than double the amount of footage said to previously be available.
Nichols and his co-defendant, Alex Harkrider, of Carthage, were originally set to go to trial on March 27. Harkrider’s attorney said in February they are prepared to proceed to trial. Nichols’ attorneys have not specified how long of a continuance they would require.
The attorneys also claim that Nichols’ allegedly declining mental health has impaired his ability to participate in his defense. The request claims that Nichols’ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder went untreated during the 22 months he was incarcerated. The request claims that Nichols now rarely so much as steps into his own backyard due to “crippling paranoia.”
However, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where the trial is set to be held, has stated that the motion for a continuance should be denied. The attorney’s argument is that Nichols “has had and continues to have access” to the footage requested.
“The United States has provided voluminous discovery in this case,” the statement said. “As of March 6, 2023, over 4.91 million files (7.36 terabytes of information) have been provided.”
These files include information from hundreds of digital devices, hundreds of digital recordings of subject interviews, nearly 150,000 redacted or anonymous tips and more than 30,000 files from body-worn and hand=held camera footage from five law enforcement agencies. The U.S. attorney states that all of this information has previously been available to Nichols’ counsel and that the government has made more than 20 productions in hi case-specific discovery which began less than two months after Nichols’ arrest and have continued since “on a rolling basis.” Specifically pertaining to CCTV footage, the attorney said the government has made available footage from specific cameras which include the period of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on January 6, 2021, in the Lower West Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building, “the area in which the defendant committed the crimes alleged by the government.”
Additionally, the U.S. attorney said the government has also provided footage from body-worn cameras from 111 officers “who might have encountered (Nichols) in the Lower West Tunnel” and provided numerous open-source videos ranging in length from one minute to more than an hour with timestamps to note where Nichols appears in those videos. This footage has been available for at least 16 months, the attorney said, and it “strains credulity to argue that at least sixteen months is an insufficient period to review the materials specific to Defendant Nichols’ case.”
In response to the U.S. attorney’s rebuttal, Nichols’ attorneys gave the following statement in a filing:
“The Judicial System needs time to work. This Honorable Court must give the system time to work. Nothing good can come from short-circuiting the process. Injustice is sure to occur absent a meaningful opportunity to mount a defense. Mr. Nichols has a right to mount his defense, even under these difficult circumstances.”
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