The North Carolina man accused of threatening to bomb the Library of Congress has been released from jail after a federal judge found that the man’s mental health condition has stabilized and he is not a threat to the community.
Floyd Ray Roseberry, 50, is charged with threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against the United States, an offense punishable by up to life in prison. On Aug. 19, 2021, he allegedly drove his truck onto the public sidewalk in front of the building and claimed — via a Facebook livestream — that he had bomb and a detonator.
“They need to clear that ’cause I got a bomb in here, Roseberry said, according to the criminal complaint.
“The fucking revolution starts today Joe Biden,” he also allegedly said.
No explosives were found in his car.
Roseberry, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD, has pleaded not guilty. In May, he pleaded for release from pretrial detention, telling U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras that “under the right medications, I would have never done it.”
On Thursday, Contreras agreed to let Roseberry go home, albeit under strict conditions.
“Mr. Roseberry’s mental health helps to put the circumstances of his charged offenses in perspective,” Contreras wrote (citations omitted). “Mr. Roseberry has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD from a traumatic childhood. The government does not dispute that Mr. Roseberry was under the influence of contraindicated medications and that these drugs played a role in the offenses charged.”
The judge, a Barack Obama appointee, relied heavily on testimony from a forensic psychiatrist who said at a hearing Monday that Roseberry was not on the right combination of medication at the time he allegedly made the threats.
“At the hearing [on Roseberry’s motion for release], Dr. Teresa Grant, a forensic psychologist who evaluated Mr. Roseberry, testified that she was ‘shocked’ that he was taking Adderall and Valium at the time of the alleged offenses because these were ‘really serious drugs’ that could lead to ‘manic and/or psychotic episodes’ for somebody with bipolar disorder,” Contreras wrote in his ruling.
“The government counsel conceded that his wife found this assessment consistent with her experience as a psychiatric nurse practitioner,” Contreras continued. “Furthermore, Mr. Roseberry had been prescribed these drugs by his local primary care physician—not a psychiatrist.”
Contreras also considered Roseberry’s background — largely devoid of significant criminal history — which he said weighs “strongly” in favor of the defendant’s release.
“Mr. Roseberry is fifty years old with no history of violence or felony offenses,” Contreras wrote, noting that his only prior criminal offenses were “non-violent misdemeanors” committed when he was 18 years old.
Contreras also considered testimony from jail authorities that while in custody, Roseberry rescued a guard who was under assault.
“[A] D.C. Jail guard provided positive testimony on Mr. Roseberry’s character because he came to the guard’s rescue during a violent incident at the jail,” Contreras wrote. “The guard testified that he was working in his cell block when an inmate assaulted him from behind, hitting his shoulder and breaking his jaw. According to the guard’s testimony, the inmate was about to strike him again when Mr. Roseberry intervened and grabbed the inmate, thereby preventing further injury to the guard.”
According to the guard’s testimony, Roseberry put himself in harm’s way.
“The guard praised Mr. Roseberry for his act of kindness,” the judge wrote. ” As of result of his intervention, however, Mr. Roseberry had urine and feces thrown on him and was called ‘the police’ by other inmates.”
Contreras also noted that while the charges against him are serious, “there is a genuine dispute whether Mr. Roseberry actually made a threat to use a weapon of mass destruction.”
Prosecutors had opposed Roseberry’s release, arguing that the statements he allegedly made that day in August — including that he’s “ready to die for a cause” and calling for a “revolution” — indicate that he continues to pose a danger to the community.
In the end, Contreras found that Roseberry “is now on a stable medication regimen with drugs prescribed by a psychiatrist at the D.C. Jail. He has been stable for months and moved out of the mental health unit.”
“These developments show a marked improvement in Mr. Roseberry’s mental condition that undermines the government’s assertion that he is an ongoing danger to the community,” Contreras added.
Contreras noted that Roseberry’s wife, Janay Yarbrough, can ensure that her husband takes his medications and participate in mental health treatment.
Per the judge’s order, Roseberry is subject to round-the-clock confinement in his North Carolina home, as well as electronic monitoring. Contreras did order Roseberry to leave his home, however, for an Aug. 16 appointment with his psychiatrist, and to stick to his current medication regimen unless otherwise instructed by that psychiatrist.
Read the judge’s ruling, below.
[Images via FBI court filing.]
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