Taken collectively, these developments make clear key information concerning the day earlier than Sicknick’s demise, which has emerged as one of the crucial well-known incidents from the revolt.
Khater and Tanios have pleaded not responsible and preserve that they are not a hazard to the general public. They’re in search of to be launched from jail and will likely be earlier than a federal decide once more subsequent week.
Previous testimony from Khater and the supervisor of a gun store had already established that Tanios purchased canisters of bear spray and pepper spray shortly earlier than January 6. Prosecutor Gilead Mild mentioned Tuesday that it was the pepper spray that Khater allegedly used on Capitol grounds.
A “smaller can of a special chemical spray” was used, however “the bear spray is related as a result of it goes to the planning,” Mild mentioned, arguing that the defendants had equipped for violence and have been prepared to make use of the repellant. “It is an uncontested proven fact that there are not any bears in downtown DC.”
At Tanios’ detention listening to in West Virginia, the phrase “bear spray” was introduced up 20 instances, in accordance with a transcript. An FBI agent who testified at that listening to danced across the query of whether or not it had been deployed, saying the investigation was “ongoing” and that the canisters hadn’t been submitted for forensic evaluation. However prosecutors did say the cans “gave the impression to be intact.”
Khater’s lawyer Joseph Tacopina needled prosecutors at Tuesday’s listening to by saying the bear spray “turned out to not be bear spray,” and argued that it was a “defensive” pepper spray.
Will they be launched?
The muddled narrative has performed out whereas Khater and Tanios struggle for his or her launch from jail.
Attorneys for Khater suggest that he be launched underneath a $15 million bond and put underneath home arrest as a result of he has no historical past of violence, no engagement with extremist teams and did not go contained in the Capitol. (He was nonetheless charged with coming into restricted grounds as a result of he was in an space that had been blocked off forward of time and wasn’t open to the general public on January 6.)
Tanios’ lawyer introduced in two witnesses who testified Tuesday in favor of his launch. A 20-year veteran of the West Virginia Nationwide Guard known as Tanios “a giant teddy bear,” and one among Tanios’ cousins mentioned he would “by no means see (Tanios) as a menace to depart his nation” and flee earlier than trial.
“He is trying ahead to going to court docket and proving his innocence,” the cousin mentioned.
Prosecutors say the person deliberate for violence, helped the Capitol fall to the mob and nonetheless poses a menace. Decide Thomas Hogan will hear extra arguments subsequent week and concern a ruling.
Homicide probe fizzles
Khater and Tanios’ case would be the solely prices ever introduced involving the Sicknick incident.
“This, in actual fact, all however assures prosecutors will not cost anybody with murder associated to Officer Sicknick’s demise,” former US Lawyer Preet Bharara advised CNN. “The report seems conclusive that he died of pure causes, and it may appear to be overcharging if prosecutors went that route.”
When the post-mortem outcomes have been launched final week, indicating that Sicknick had died of pure causes, the Capitol Police mentioned it “accepts” the findings however that he “died within the Line of Responsibility.”
In court docket filings and arguments, prosecutors have by no means linked the chemical spray assault to Sicknick’s demise. Khater and Tanios are charged in a 10-count indictment with conspiring to injure an officer, assaulting an officer with a harmful weapon, civil dysfunction and different crimes.
Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, a CNN authorized analyst, mentioned there are nonetheless choices for prosecutors to carry individuals answerable for Sicknick’s demise, although it is unlikely to occur.
“Beneath federal legislation, there’s a felony homicide legislation,” Honig mentioned. “It means you are accountable for any demise that happens in the middle of sure felonies, although it is robust to seek out one which matches this set of circumstances. The one one which comes shut — however continues to be a stretch — is housebreaking.”
CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.