Capitol Riot Suspect Has Completely Wild Virtual Court Hearing

Landon Kenneth Copeland will be evaluated for mental competency
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2021 2:44 AM CDT
Updated May 7, 2021 6:35 AM CDT
Capitol Riot Suspect Has Completely Wild Virtual Court Hearing
In this Jan 6, 2021, file photo, U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back rioters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

It was a chaotic, to say the least, virtual court hearing Thursday for Landon Kenneth Copeland, a 33-year-old Utah man charged in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. Copeland, who is accused of attacking officers during the insurrection attempt, allegedly invited some of his Trump-following friends to log on to the hearing, according to the Daily Beast, which reports that the judge gave one friend the boot after they chose an expletive as their Zoom username. Copeland, a veteran, also allegedly screamed about the government killing people and taking 70% of his income via taxes, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

He is accused of going on expletive-ridden tirades, screaming obscenities at the judge, and calling a court official "evil," Newsweek reports. He also allegedly interrupted during hearings for other January 6 suspects, even attempting to object to something one of their defense attorneys said. He hung up twice, and was at times muted by the judge. "In my conversations with him, I don’t think he’s being intentionally belligerent. I don’t think he’s competent to proceed right now," Copeland's lawyer said at one point, noting his client has told him he suffers from PTSD. A mental competency evaluation will be carried out to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. "You’re going to give me a psych eval," Copeland allegedly said at one point. (More Capitol riot stories.)

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