Judge makes no decision on bond for S.C. man charged in Capitol riots
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – After a five-hour bond hearing, a federal judge did not determine a bond for a Little River man arrested for his role in the deadly Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
Federal court documents show Languerand faces several charges including assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer using a dangerous weapon and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.
The investigation into 26-year-old Nicholas Languerand began when a tip led federal authorities to an Instagram post, where they said Languerand posted a photo of himself on social media at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the riots. An Instagram post attributed to Languerand reportedly stated, “‘Remember this day forever.’ I love you guys. Ask me about the ….”
A criminal complaint showed that a person matching Languerand’s description was seen throwing objects at police officers, such as an orange traffic barrier and a canister of pepper spray. Video from the riots also showed the suspect holding a police shield and hitting it against the ground, according to the criminal complaint.
Languerand appeared virtually for the preliminary hearing, which began at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas E Rogers III. During that hearing, prosecutors discussed him possibly being a flight risk.
According to an FBI agent who testified during the hearing, Languerand first came to South Carolina after the Capitol riot to live with his grandparents.
The prosecution argued that his constant issues with law enforcement are another reason why the defendant should not be given bond.
The FBI agent investigating Languerand said he is from Vermont, where he has a long criminal history. He also has an order of protection from a previous witness who he threatened to kill in a Vermont case, the witness testified.
The FBI agent added that the suspect kept claiming that several Vermont pizza restaurants were holding child sex trafficking rings which is in line with QAnon conspiracy theories.
During the hearing, it was also revealed that Languerand previously lived in North Carolina for a time, but he failed to keep employment. According to the FBI agent, he then met someone on the internet before traveling to D.C. to take part in the events of Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, on the defense side, they argued that other people seen in the videos at the Capitol were more violent than Languerand.
They claimed that there is no evidence that any of the objects thrown by their client hurt officers. They added that there is also no evidence that Languerand physically assaulted any of the officers.
During the bond hearing, two people spoke on behalf of the defendant: his grandmother and his employer.
His grandmother called him a good Christian, a good person and a patriot. His employer in Conway said that Languerand is a good employee and always shows up to work on time.
The defense argued that he should be given bond because the defendant’s activity happened after 5 p.m. when Congress had already been released from the Capitol and that he never entered the building.
The prosecution did bring up that Languerand is a drug user, and the defense argued that jail isn’t the place for a drug user and that he needs to be with family so that he can get help for his addiction.
The defense suggested to the judge that Languerand be given bond, have an electronic device on him and have his passport surrendered.
Ultimately, the judge did not set a bond for the defendant and is taking everything said during the hearing under advisement. He said he will release a decision on the bond at a later date.
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