Prosecutors say the Jan. 6 defendant, convicted of manslaughter in Iraq, poses a new danger
Prosecutors say the FBI discovered an assault rifle and 73 rounds of ammunition in the defendant’s closet on Jan. 6 — even though he was banned from owning firearms as a result of his 2005 conviction for shooting an Iraqi civilian in the head.
Justice Department officials cited the discovery Wednesday in an effort to immediately lock up the defendant, Louisiana resident Edward Richmond Jr., while he awaits trial. Accusations that he used a metal baton against police in the Capitol building While wearing tactical gear. They say Richmond poses a danger to those around him and is at risk of attempting to flee ahead of his criminal proceedings.
The case is among the most bizarre to occur on January 6 in the government’s three-year-long investigation, which has resulted in the arrests of more than 1,250 people, including dozens of current and former members of the military.
Richmond, was court-martialed and convicted of murder in 2004 for shooting an unarmed and handcuffed Iraqi cowboy in the back of the head. He was sentenced to three years in military prison for this crime. Prosecutors say that as a result of his conviction, Richmond is not allowed to own firearms — and that he will likely face federal charges over the AR-15 that FBI agents discovered in his safe.
“Richmond knows that a gun can irreversibly destroy lives. This did not prevent him from possessing an assault weapon,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Victoria Sheets wrote in the filing requesting his pretrial detention. “He served several years in prison for shooting a man and was… “He undoubtedly realizes that…any future possession of firearms could put him back in prison. This did not deter him. He cannot be trusted to follow the law, and he cannot be trusted not to attack again.”
A federal judge in Louisiana rejected the Justice Department’s initial attempt to detain Richmond, claiming Prosecutors failed to adequately prove Richmond It was dangerous or a flight risk. Instead, Judge Erin Wilder Domes found that Richmond had at times attempted to contact the Department of Justice about his conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, — not the actions of someone seeking to flee justice — and indicated that he had a child. Official in Louisiana.
More importantly, Wilder-Domes said, prosecutors have not acted on the evidence against Richmond for more than two years, suggesting he “may not be the threat the government now argues he poses.”
Prosecutors have appealed Wilder Domes’ ruling to a federal judge in Washington, D.C., and are requesting that the matter be heard urgently.
“The government is concerned that he may be attacked again, under increasing pressure,” Sheets wrote in a 19-page motion to arrest Richmond.
Prosecutors also say Richmond took steps to “go off the grid” after the FBI began pursuing him on charges Jan. 6, and that he does not maintain a valid driver’s license or any utility bills in his name.
Charging documents for Richmond’s conduct on Jan. 6 allege he traveled to Washington as part of a team intended to provide security for an attendee at then-President Donald Trump’s rally that day. On Jan. 6, he wore full tactical gear, adorned with a Louisiana state patch and a two-way radio on his jacket. Prosecutors say he used a metal baton to strike officers guarding the Lower West Terrace Tunnel — the scene of most of the violence that day — and was just steps away from D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone when he was beaten by an angry mob.
Prosecutors revealed additional details about his behavior in the new detention memorandum, saying that Richmond “helped remove furniture from broken windows in the Capitol and threw what appeared to be a whiteboard into the tunnel at officers.”
Richmond’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.