Judge orders continued pre-trial detention of Jan 6. defendant from Utah

·2 min read

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal magistrate on Friday ordered continued pre-trial detention for Landon Copeland, a Utah resident facing multiple Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot charges and whose detention was imposed after he became agitated during an earlier hearing.

Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather said that while evidence indicated Copeland "seemed to be part of a crowd" on Jan. 6 and that prosecutors had not accused him of playing a leadership role in the riot, government evidence did "slightly favor" his continued detention.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Romano told the judge that prosecutors "see no realistic way" Copeland "is going to comply with release conditions" if released on bail.

Defense lawyer Ryan Stout said that while "admittedly some of the statements he has made are problematic," Copeland had a job and residence on offer if released and also would be "willing to participate in mental health treatment."

Nearly 600 people have been arrested over the attack on the Capitol where Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden's November election victory over then-President Donald Trump, who earlier made a speech falsely claiming his defeat was the result of fraud.

During a hearing in May, Copeland complained the government was killing people and taking 70% of his income in taxes, leading the judge to mute his microphone.

Arguing for Copeland's continued detention, prosecutors alleged that he "appeared to be part of a group that was trying to breach" a line of police guarding the Capitol. The Justice Department said he got involved in a tug-of-war with police over a metal bike rack barricade. After officers sprayed a chemical irritant, Copeland tossed the bike rack toward police.

Later on Friday, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras accepted a guilty plea from Florida resident Felipe Marquez, 25, to a charge of disorderly conduct in a restricted building during the Jan. 6 riot. Prosecutors said while in the Capitol, Marquez entered a "hideaway" office used by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by David Gregorio and Alistair Bell)

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