A man caught carrying hand restraints at the U.S. Capitol riot will get a new chance at release on bail, after the federal appeals court in Washington ordered a judge to reconsider his ruling that he and his mother be held pending trial.
The man, Eric Munchel, became one the early emblems of the Jan. 6 riot after he was seen on camera carrying plastic handcuffs, known as zip ties, around the building. He was accompanied by his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, who was captured in video footage chanting, “Treason! Treason!” inside the Capitol, according to prosecutors.
A magistrate judge in Tennessee initially concluded that Munchel and Eisenhart weren’t flight risks and could be released on bail with strict conditions, including GPS monitoring. But after a hearing in February, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington ordered that the two be detained because they were charged with felonies while carrying a dangerous weapon. Munchel had a Taser stunning device holstered on his hip, according the U.S.
Friday’s appellate order that he reconsider comes as the U.S. faces mounting pushback from defense lawyers and some judges against its efforts to swiftly prosecute hundreds of people accused of storming the Capitol to try to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
(Updates with details and context starting in second paragraph.)