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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Ex-US soldier who killed Iraqi civilian charged with attacking police on Jan. 6

Outside the U.S. Capitol during the attack by supporters of then President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (Jason Andrew/The New York Times)

By Orlando Mayorquin

A former U.S. Army soldier who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of an Iraqi civilian in 2004 was charged earlier this week with assaulting police officers with a baton during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department announced.

The former soldier, Edward Richmond Jr., 40, of Geismar, Louisiana, who was arrested Monday in Baton Rouge, faces several federal charges, including civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted area with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, prosecutors said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Army, Bryce Dubee, confirmed that Richmond had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2004, the same year he was deployed to Iraq. Richmond, who was in the Army from 2002-08, was sentenced in military court to a reduction in rank from private, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, three years’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge, Dubee said.

He was released from prison on parole in 2006 with almost a year remaining on his original sentence, according to The Associated Press.

According to The Associated Press, Richmond killed a cow herder who had been detained along with other men in an Iraqi village near Taal Al Jai that the Army raided Feb. 28, 2004. The herder, Muhamad Husain Kadir, was handcuffed when Richmond shot him in the back of the head from 6 feet away as the man stumbled, the AP reported.

In his defense, Richmond, then 20, said that although he had not seen Kadir with a weapon, he thought that Kadir had been lunging to attack another soldier, adding that he didn’t know Kadir’s hands had been bound, according to the wire service.

In the Justice Department’s announcement Monday, prosecutors said Richmond was among a group of about 10 people who traveled from Ohio to Washington, D.C., to attend pro-Trump rallies planned for Jan. 6., when Congress was set to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election at the Capitol.

Investigators identified Richmond in several images and footage from the Capitol breach on Jan. 6, including on closed-circuit television footage and on video taken by officer body-worn cameras, according to an affidavit written by an FBI agent filed with the criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Washington.

Richmond is seen in images filed in the complaint wearing a black helmet, goggles, shoulder pads and a state of Louisiana flag patch attached to a camouflage-pattern vest.

Closed-circuit television footage shows him amid a crush of rioters near the tunnel at the Capitol. Body-worn camera footage from officers shows him “using a baton to strike law enforcement officers” multiple times, prosecutors said.

Richmond is scheduled to make an initial appearance at U.S. Middle District Court of Louisiana on Tuesday at 10 a.m., his lawyer, John McLindon, said. He declined to comment on the case.

Federal authorities have charged more than 1,265 people in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, including more than 440 who were charged with “assaulting or impeding” police officers, according to the Justice Department.

The department’s efforts have resulted in more than 720 convictions, with sentences ranging from mere days to more than 20 years in prison.

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