BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A military veteran charged with attacking police officers with a baton during a mob’s Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol was ordered released from custody on Tuesday, a day after his arrest.
A federal prosecutor had argued for the pretrial detention of Edward Richmond Jr., a former U.S. Army soldier who was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting a handcuffed civilian in Iraq approximately two decades ago.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyman Thornton III said authorities found an AR-15 rifle and ammunition when they searched Richmond’s Louisiana home this week. Richmond was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to his criminal history, the prosecutor said.
Thornton said Richmond poses a flight risk, is a threat to the community and has a history of violence, including a “very aggressive posture toward law enforcement.”
“I think Jan. 6 was a culmination of deep-seated anger toward law enforcement,” Thornton said.
However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wilder-Doomes ordered Richmond’s release from custody after a detention hearing attended by relatives, including his 16-year-old son. Wilder-Doomes said Richmond has community ties and “appears to be a loving father.”
Defense attorney John McLindon said Richmond hasn’t been “hiding or running” in the three years since the Capitol riot.
“My client knew about this problem, coming up on two years now, and he has not fled,” McLindon said.
Richmond was arrested Monday in Baton Rouge on charges including civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding police with a dangerous weapon.
Richmond, 40, of Geismar, Louisiana, was wearing a helmet, shoulder pads, goggles and a Louisiana state flag patch on his chest when he assaulted police in a tunnel outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.
Richmond was 20 when an Army court-martial panel convicted him of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to three years in prison for killing the handcuffed Iraqi civilian near Taal Al Jai in February 2004. Richmond also received a dishonorable discharge from the Army.
Richmond initially was charged with unpremeditated murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. But the panel of five officers and five enlisted soldiers reduced the charge to voluntary manslaughter.
The Army said Richmond shot Muhamad Husain Kadir, a cow herder, in the back of the head from about six feet away after the man stumbled. Richmond testified that he didn’t know Kadir was handcuffed and believed the Iraqi man was going to harm a fellow soldier.
More than 1,200 people have been charged with federal crimes related to Jan. 6. Over 100 police officers were injured during the riot.
Associated Press writer Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Maryland, contributed to this report.