Video Used To Charge Jan. 6 Defendant Exonerates Him On Charge Of Assaulting Police: Attorney

Video Used To Charge Jan. 6 Defendant Exonerates Him On Charge Of Assaulting Police: Attorney

Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Maybe it was the death threat delivered by a fellow law-enforcement officer while he stood shackled in belly chains.

January 6 detainee Ronald McAbee with his wife Sarah. McAbee is seeking release from jail in a new court motion. (Courtesy of Sarah McAbee)

Perhaps it was being described as a “terrorist” by a federal judge who will preside over his trial.

It could have been being released on bail by a U.S. magistrate judge in Tennessee, only to be ordered held until trial by a U.S. district judge in Washington D.C.

Former sheriff’s deputy Ronald Colton McAbee, 28, of Tennessee, has faced a difficult road since being indicted for alleged criminal actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Arguably the most trying situation for McAbee was being denied bail for nearly a year based on video evidence that his attorney now says exonerates him.

“What makes the government’s case weak is the fact that the videos actually exonerate Mr. McAbee of the very allegations made against him, and Mr. McAbee is motivated to appear for trial, take the stand and narrate those videos for [the] jury,” wrote attorney William Shipley in a May 2022 motion to have his client released from jail.

McAbee, a former sheriff’s deputy in Tennessee and Georgia with more than seven years of law-enforcement experience as a deputy and correctional officer, was charged by federal prosecutors with seven alleged crimes.

Charges included assaulting, resisting, or impeding a federal officer, two counts of civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

McAbee was outside the Lower West Terrace tunnel during some of the worst violence on January 6. Several times he tried to render lifesaving aid to a dying Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia. His interactions with Metropolitan Police Department officers resulted in most of the charges and served as justification for a D.C. judge to jail him until trial.

Ronald McAbee renders aid to a pulseless Rosanne Boyland outside the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. “He just was in life-saving mode,” Sarah McAbee said of her husband. (Graphic by The Epoch Times)

McAbee was arrested on Aug. 17, 2021, in Tennessee. At a detention hearing on Aug. 26, prosecutors argued that McAbee assaulted Metropolitan Police Department Officer Andrew Wyatt. They said after Wyatt fell at the tunnel entrance, McAbee—who had a broken shoulder from a car accident nine days earlier—pulled him down the concrete stairs into a hostile crowd.

The prosecutor played a video for the court, but there was no sound, according to Sarah McAbee, Ronald McAbee’s wife. The lack of audio would later prove to be a crucial element of the story.

After the detention hearing was continued on Sept. 8, 2021, Magistrate Judge Jeffery Frensley ruled against the U.S. Department of Justice and ordered McAbee released pending trial.

No Danger to Community

“I do not believe that Mr. McAbee poses a future danger to the community if he were to be released between now and the time that he resolves this case,” Judge Frensley said. “And the government, despite my request that they provide me any evidence that he’s presented any sort of a danger to the community, have been able to point to absolutely nothing beyond the events around and during January the 6th.”

Judge Frensley said what he saw on the video was open to interpretation. McAbee’s guilt or innocence could not be part of the consideration for bond, he said.

“We have a system that presumes innocence, and for me to make a decision where I become judge, jury, and executioner all in the same role without affording him the rights he’s entitled to under the constitution is inappropriate,” Frensley said. “And that’s the important distinction between the bond decision and the decision on guilt that will follow at a trial.”

That victory for McAbee was short-lived. Prosecutors filed an emergency appeal the same day in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. Senior District Judge Emmet Sullivan stayed Frensley’s order and scheduled hearings on the government’s motion to keep McAbee behind bars until trial.

During a hearing on Sept. 22, 2021, Sullivan seemed to telegraph his eventual decision to hold McAbee without bond.

When being shown a video with McAbee wearing body armor with a patch that read “Sheriff,” Judge Sullivan said, “That’s pretty outrageous,” according to the official hearing transcript. A short time later, Sullivan said, “These videos are very disturbing.” He made several statements agreeing with the prosecutor’s assessment of the evidence.

Sullivan then suggested McAbee is a terrorist.

So it appears clearly to this court that the defendant is pulling the officer back into the crowd of other terrorists,” Sullivan said, according to the transcript.

After another hearing on Oct. 13, 2021, Sullivan reversed Frensely’s order and ruled that McAbee should not be released pending trial. Sullivan said he would issue a written ruling, which was released more than two months later on Dec. 21, 2021.

While Frensley told prosecutors they did not show evidence that McAbee had done anything to prove he was a danger during the eight months between January 6 and his August arrest, Sullivan ruled that the only way to protect the community is to keep McAbee in jail.

The court concludes that clear and convincing evidence supports a finding that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community,” Judge Sullivan wrote (pdf) in his 41-page ruling.

Sarah McAbee was stunned.

Ronald McAbee falls on top of Metropolitan Police Department Officer Andrew Wyatt after being pulled from behind on January 6, 2021. (Christopher Chern via Storyful/Graphic by The Epoch Times)

“It’s just the craziest situation, them saying he’s a danger to the community when he’s been a law enforcement officer and never has had stripes on his record, let alone a speeding ticket,” Sarah McAbee told The Epoch Times.

A break in McAbee’s case came when video investigator Gary McBride of Decatur, Texas, studied the bodycam footage shown in court, except with the audio track turned on. It painted a vastly different picture of what took place, McBride told The Epoch Times.

“The prosecutors did not play the audio of AW [Andrew Wyatt] and McAbee talking during this point,” McBride said in a video he made about the evidence. “McAbee is trying to save AW. Prosecutors didn’t play that in court.”

McBride said his analysis showed McAbee did not pull the officer down the stairs, but was swept backward and lost his balance, due to two protesters pulling on the officer’s legs. McAbee was standing over Wyatt at the time. As a result, McAbee fell on top of Wyatt and was over him for about 25 seconds.

While McAbee was on top of Wyatt, bystanders called him a traitor, ostensibly for helping the officer. When someone in the crowd tried to grab at Wyatt, McAbee shouted, “No!” and “Quit!”

“At that point, my husband just saw an officer down and an officer needing help, because the first thing he says, when he pops in around the tunnel before he gets around the rail is, ‘Hey, you guys have a man down,’” Sarah McAbee said. “They literally did nothing to help that guy. So he’s the one who jumped into action.”

Sarah said she was relieved when she learned the audio track from the evidence videos backs up what her husband told her that day.

Story is Consistent

“My husband’s story has not changed from January 6. There’s actually a picture of him that they have on the FBI website of him on the phone,” she said. “I know that’s a phone call with me about everything that just went down.

“His story has not changed from that day to today. He’s just not a liar. That’s just not who he is and even the little details have always remained the same.”

McBride and Sarah McAbee said the audio track should have been disclosed to the defense as exculpatory evidence.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Fri, 07/29/2022 – 20:20

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