Court Battles

Judge denies permission to Capitol riot defendant who wanted to go to Jamaica

Julia Nikhinson

A Capitol riot defendant who wanted to go to Jamaica to visit his girlfriend’s family was denied a request to visit the country on Thursday by a federal judge.

An attorney for Anthony Williams, who faces multiple charges in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, filed a motion on Thursday to secure permission for the defendant to travel.

But Beryl Howell, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, rejected the request, noting the decision came on the one-year anniversary of the Capitol attack.

“This Court will not commemorate the one-year anniversary of this attack on the Capitol by granting defendant’s request for non-essential foreign travel when he is awaiting judgment for his actions on that day,” Howell, an Obama appointee, wrote in her ruling, according to CNN.

According to the motion, Williams wanted to visit his girlfriend’s family in Jamaica. It stated that he would stay with her father and work at a local nonprofit.

“For more than a year, Mr. Williams has been in a committed romantic relationship. His girlfriend’s family resides in Negril, Jamaica, and Mr. Williams is requesting permission to visit Jamaica to meet her family from January 31, 2022, to February 10, 2022,” the motion read.

The motion said Williams had been on pretrial release since March 26, 2021, when he made his first court appearance. The motion also noted that the government opposed his travel request. 

Williams faces charges including disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

“Although such a meeting may be an important step in defendant’s personal relationship, (the) defendant surrendered his entitlement to unfettered international travel when, also ‘more than a year’ ago, on December 30, 2020, he allegedly announced his intent to ‘Storm the Swamp’…and one week later, on January 6, 2021, followed through by joining a mob at the Capitol that, in his words, ‘took [that] f***ing building,'” Howell colorfully wrote, CNN reported. 

Tags Capitol breach Jan. 6 attack

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