Trial delayed for East Texas men accused in Jan. 6 riot

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:31 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:30 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLTV) - The trial of two Longview men accused of their involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol has been delayed.

A federal judge granted the delay due to a “family surgery” involving one of the attorneys for Longview resident Ryan Nichols. Nichols’ attorneys had been seeking a continuance, but not originally for the reason it has now been granted.

Last week, the attorneys for Ryan Nichols, 32, argued that a federal judge should delay Nichols’ trial on the basis that they required more time to comb through tens of thousands of hours of additional video recordings taken on Jan. 6, 2021 as supporters of then-President Donald Trump violently attempted to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results. Nichols and his co-defendant, Carthage resident Alex Harkrider, are facing federal charges for their alleged involvement in the event. Both were initially scheduled to go to trial on March 27.

However, in a filing dated March 16, Nichols’ attorneys are further asking for a continuance due to claims that Nichols’ mental and physical health have deteriorated to a point where it would be “unconscionable” to force him to stand trial. Describing him as “a shell of his former self,” Nichols’ attorneys say in the filing that he was “happy, healthy, fit, strong, and handsome before the Government took him away.” However, they claim Nichols was “noticeably different” when he was released to the custody of his wife to begin living under house arrest in November 2022.

The filing claims that while incarcerated, Nichols was forced to endure “highly unsanitary conditions with limited access to sunlight, ventilation, personal hygiene supplies, adequate nutrition, and quality medical care.” The attorneys claim that Nichols’ time in federal prison resulted in the exacerbation of his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in addition to other medical issues, such as ear infections, that went “unanswered or were met with indifferent ‘medical treatment’.”

Furthermore, the filing also claims that Nichols now suffers from “serious paranoia, severe hair loss, depression, nightmares” and “what appears to be active liver disease.”

Nichols’ attorneys attempted to compare him to Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.), who was recently hospitalized due to depression.

“Like Senator John Fetterman, who needs rest, compassion, and treatment. So too does Ryan Nichols,” the filing said.

In response to these claims, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, said no decision could be rendered as Nichols’ legal counsel provided no medical documentation backing up their claims. Judge Lamberth ordered that proper documentation be filed no later than March 20.

In a subsequent filing dated March 20, Nichols’ attorneys said that “medical testing and evaluation are ongoing” and that “meaningful treatment has not even begun.” Additionally, they stated that Nichols is in the process of switching physicians, claiming that “the previous physician was intimidated by the Federal Government’s intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship,” which they allege resulted in “meaningful treatment and education” becoming “unnecessarily complicated.”

Previous reporting:

Longview man wants trial delayed to view recently released Capitol riot footage

Attorneys for Longview man accused in Jan. 6 riot ask judge to delay trial