Seattle-area Proud Boy facing charges for Capitol riot headed back to jail
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered Ethan Nordean — a Seattle-area Proud Boy accused of being a leader in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol — back to jail.
Nordean is expected to be picked up by U.S. Marshals today, but, for now, will not be transferred to Washington, D.C.
This concludes what’s been a lengthy back-and-forth regarding Nordean’s status while he awaits trial. In February, a judge granted him a pre-trial release, before that was halted by another judge following an appeal from the U.S. Justice Department.
Then in March, Nordean was again granted release by a separate U.S. District Court Judge, who ruled that prosecutors hadn’t proved he would be a danger to the public, or a flight risk.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly gave an in-depth explanation spanning an hour and a half, detailing why he was revoking the pre-trial release for both Nordean, 30, and accused co-conspirator Joseph Biggs, 37, who lives Florida and, like Nordean, is accused of being a leader with the Proud Boys.
“The defendants stand charged with seeking to steal one of the crown jewels of our country,” Judge Kelly said as he explained their efforts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power.
“It’s no exaggeration to say the rule of law and, … in the end, the existence of our constitutional republic is threatened by it,” he added.
The judge acknowledged much of the evidence was largely circumstantial as far as the exact nature of the alleged conspiracy.
However, “in my view, the weight of the evidence is strong enough to weigh in favor of detention. Even if as in most conspiracy cases, we don’t have a document or a conversation that lays out the conspiracy plain,” Kelly stated.
Kelly also pointed to comments made by both men on social media and in interviews before and after the riot, as well as the lack of regret or remorse expressed by either for what happened on Jan. 6.
Nordean and Biggs “facilitated political violence” even if they weren’t armed and didn’t assault anybody at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Kelly said, before finding overwhelming evidence to support holding the two for trial.
Because of that, Kelly concluded that Biggs and Nordean are dangerous and that there are no conditions for release that would be adequate.
Nordean isn’t the only Washington resident facing charges for the insurrection. In January, former Washington state National Guardsman Mark Leffingwell was among the first people indicted for their participation in the Jan. 6 riot.
Leffingwell allegedly struck Capitol police officer Daniel Amendola in the helmet and chest when Amendola tried to stop him from entering the building, according to the DOJ. In a criminal complaint, Amendola stated: “When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, Leffingwell punched me repeatedly with a closed fist. I was struck in the helmet that I was wearing and in the chest.”
MyNorthwest staff contributed to this report.