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Accused Capitol Rioter’s Lawyer Tells Judge That Detained Client ‘No Longer Cares About Politics of Who Is President’


An accused Capitol rioter who said on camera that he traveled from Texas to D.C. for the Jan. 6 rally because Donald Trump “asked people to come and show their support” is now claiming to be an apathetic political observer in an apparent hope that this will help spring him from jail as he awaits his day in court.

An attorney representing winemaker Christopher Ray Grider, who was denied bond after prosecutors said he was “at the front line” of rioters trying to breach the Speaker’s Lobby during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, told a federal judge on Thursday that his client should be released on bond because he is not a danger to the community and no longer concerns himself with U.S. politics.

“Despite whatever the evidence shows he did or did not do at the United States Capitol, the fact remains is that Mr. Grider is not a violent or dangerous person. Every action of his life proves that and nothing that occurred in that maelstrom in the Capitol Building on that fateful day proves differently,” attorney T. Brent Mayr wrote in a motion seeking to revoke the court’s detention order. “He no longer cares about politics or who is President of the United States. All he cares about is what has always mattered most to him: his family, his business, his community, and his church. It is time to let him return to them.”

That may be a tough sell considering U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Hightower characterized the evidence against Grider as “quite strong” in her ruling last month denying bond. According to Hightower, video evidence showed him to be the man who allegedly supplied the helmet used to try to break down the doors separating the mob from U.S. lawmakers.

The judge added that Grider also pushed and kicked that barrier with the throng, which included rioter Ashli Babbitt. Babbitt was shot dead while trying to breach the barrier.

The video in question appears to show Grider in front of the glass doors which lead to the Speaker’s Lobby when a man standing next to him attempts to break the glass window. According to the criminal complaint, Grider then handed a black helmet to the man, knocking on the top of it to demonstrate that it was hard enough to damage the door. Accepting the helmet, the man used it to strike the doors, breaking the glass that Babbitt moments before she was fatally shot.

Grider’s attorney also contended that his client has asthma, making him particularly susceptible to the dangers of COVID-19 while in detention.

Read the full filing below:

Chris Girder Motion 2.11.21 by Law&Crime on Scribd

[image via KWTX-TV News 10 broadcast from court papers]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.