Court Battles

Judge erupts at Jan. 6 defendant who refused mask: ‘You don’t make the rules’

A federal judge on Friday told off a Capitol riot defendant who refused to wear a mask during his hearing, telling the defendant “You don’t make the rules.”

The confrontation took place during a hearing for defendant Daniel Goodwyn, according The Washington Post. He pleaded not guilty in April to five charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riot.

According to court records, prosecutors were trying to revoke Goodwyn’s pretrial release over his behavior, including repeatedly flouting orders to wear a mask.

During Friday’s hearing, Goodwyn’s attorney, Daniel Hull, explained to Judge Reggie Walton that Goodwyn had autism, which makes it harder for him to wear masks, the Post reported.

But when asked why he wouldn’t wear one, Goodwyn simply said “it stresses me out,” adding “I believe I would not cause someone to die by not wearing a mask.”

Instead of locking him up, Walton decided to order Goodwyn to wear a mask whenever he meets with pretrial services or appears in court, according to the newspaper.

But Walton was clear: “If you can’t do that I’m going to have no alternative [but] to lock you up and keep you locked up until this case is resolved.”

“They don’t have to put their lives at risk, they don’t have to, and they will not,” Walton continued, referring to court staff.

Goodwyn replied: “I understand [but] I’m not going to do that, sir.” He added that Texas doesn’t require masks indoors.

“I don’t care what the law in Texas is,” Walton fired back. “You don’t make the rules. You will be arrested.”

When Goodwyn was arrested at his parent’s home in Texas, the FBI learned that at least one person in the home believed they had COVID-19.

When agents placed a mask on his face, Goodwyn “attempted to chew through the mask and spit the mask out,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

Goodwyn was released to home confinement in February. But prosecutors said he repeatedly refuses to wear a mask, show up to meetings or report his location.

Since his arrest, Goodwyn has “flouted the conditions, making clear that he does not appreciate the privilege of pretrial release provided to him by the Court,” prosecutors said.

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