Antonio, his attorney Joseph Hurley said, lost his job at the start of the pandemic and watched Fox News constantly for the next six months. Antonio developed what his lawyer called “Foxitis” and “Foxmania” and believed the lies about the 2020 election by Fox News and then-President Donald Trump.
“He believed what he was fed,” said Hurley.
Antonio’s court appearance, however, was disrupted by an outbreak from another defendant, Utah’s Landon Copeland.
Copeland disrupted the process even before his hearing began. He was elected to a videoconference with a federal judge in Washington who was holding hearings for several other Capitol riot defendants. Copeland was supposed to be the last case called that day and was called repeatedly while other rioters appeared before the judge.
After Antonio’s attorney accused Fox News and “Foxitis,” Copeland, apparently angry at these comments, shouted, “I refuse.” He was then muted by federal judge Robin Meriweather.
Immediately after being taken dumb, Copeland yelled, “I’m going to tell the truth.” He then began a tirade against his own lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and the judge.
“I don’t like you guys,” said Copeland of his attorney Ryan Stout’s protest. “… I don’t know who you are, you’re a robot to me. I’m out here in the desert, in no man’s land. You can’t find me if I don’t want you to.” . “
He continued, “You’re angry, that’s you. You have to shut up.”
While Copeland was yelling, Meriweather cut off the hearing and sent Copeland to a separate video conference room. When the hearing resumed, Copeland started arguing with the clerk, saying “f – k all of y’all” and was muted again.
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His lawyer Stout later said his client was going through “a crisis” that caused his outbreaks. Court officials later informed the judge that they had previously been informed that Copeland had PTSD.
“I don’t think he’s intentionally bellicose, I think he’s in crisis,” said Stout.
Copeland is currently not incarcerated after the Justice Department failed to try to keep him in jail after his arrest. Meriweather referred him to the behavioral health authorities for a mental health assessment prior to future hearings.
At the beginning of the hearing, Copeland’s friends and family members crashed the video call. They had explicit usernames, played loud background noise, and spoke during other defendants’ hearings. Two people, Copeland’s mother and a friend, were asked to leave. Another friend was removed by a court official.
Prosecutors say Copeland stole a protective shield, turned a metal fence into a weapon and pushed other rioters into the police line on Jan. 6. He has not yet made a request to his four defendants.
Antonio says he saw death in the policeman’s eyes
Antonio allegedly made threatening statements to police, poured water on an officer dragged down the steps of the Capitol and, according to court documents, was given a protective shield and a gas mask. Antonio then briefly entered the Capitol through a broken window and tossed broken furniture, according to court records. During an interview with the FBI, Antonio said he witnessed the attack on DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone. Antonio said he closed his eyes to Fanone who asked for help and saw “death” in Fanone’s eyes.
“I didn’t help him when I should have,” Antonio said to the agents. He said he couldn’t get the image of Fanone out of his head.
Antonio is charged with five riot-related crimes, including forced entry and disorderly conduct for the sake of the Capitol, and destruction of state property. He has not yet made a plea.