A federal judge colorfully rejected a US Capitol riot defendant’s request for a 10-day getaway in Jamaica on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.
Anthony Williams – who has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the January 6 riot – had asked to travel to meet his girlfriend’s family.
According to Williams’ request, “(h)e would stay in a home owned by his girlfriend’s father, and intends to spend time working with a local non-profit, St. Anthony’s Kitchen, in Negril, Jamaica.”
But, as Chief Judge Beryl Howell put it, Williams wanted “to leave the Michigan winter to spend ten days in the warmer climes of Jamaica.”
“Although such a meeting may be an important step in defendant’s personal relationship,” Howell wrote in her denial Thursday, “(the) defendant surrendered his entitlement to unfettered international travel when, also ‘more than a year’ ago, on December 30, 2020, he allegedly announced his intent to ‘Storm the Swamp’…and one week later, on January 6, 2021, followed through by joining a mob at the Capitol that, in his words, ‘took [that] f***ing building.’”
Howell also noted that Williams allegedly said the day was “the proudest day of (his) life.”
“This Court will not commemorate the one-year anniversary of this attack on the Capitol by granting defendant’s request for non-essential foreign travel when he is awaiting judgment for his actions on that day,” Howell concluded.
Defendants often face travel restrictions while they await trial, and it is not uncommon for defendants awaiting trial to seek permission to go on vacation. The majority of requests are approved by judges.
Just a month after the riot, an alleged rioter and unsuccessful mayoral candidate from Texas was allowed to go to Mexico for a “work related bonding retreat.” Many rioters have been allowed to travel for the holidays, including accused Oath Keeper Donovan Crowl.
But at least one other rioter has been unlucky in love. Troy Williams, a 25-year-old groom-to-be who allegedly claimed he “didn’t do anything wrong” by storming the Capitol, withdrew a request to get married in his fiancé’s native Peru after the Justice Department called him a “flight risk.”