Man Accused by Judge of 'Leading the Charge' in Capitol Riot Denied Release From Jail

A judge on Thursday denied an alleged Capitol rioter's bid for release from jail, accusing the Alabama native of "leading the charge" during the January 6 insurrection, the Associated Press reported. Christian Matthew Manley, 26, who has lived in Alaska since August, faces a handful of charges, including assaulting or resisting officers using a dangerous weapon and civil disorder.

U.S. Attorney Stephan Collins submitted videos of the Capitol riot as evidence in Manley's case. In the footage, Manley is allegedly seen inside a tunnel trying to breach the Capitol, using pepper spray twice on officers, throwing the empty cans and lobbing a metal rod at police, the AP reported.

At one point in the video, the man accused of being Manley leaves the tunnel and waves for more protesters to help break into the building. Manley was able to reach the front of the crowd in the tunnel and forcefully attempted to open the last door into the Capitol, according to the government.

"He was leading the charge, so to speak," U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew McCrary Scoble said, adding that Manley was not an innocent bystander, but "came to fight."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Alleged Capitol Rioter Denied Release
A judge on Thursday denied an alleged Capitol rioter’s bid for release from jail, accusing the Alabama native of “leading the charge” during the January 6 insurrection. Above, the Statement of Facts to support the complaint and arrest warrant for Christian Manley is photographed on October 19. Jon Elswick/AP Photo

After the judge denied his release, Manley waived his right to preliminary hearing and asked that he be immediately transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the jurisdiction prosecuting those charged in the riot.

Manley was soft spoken and polite, calling Scoble "sir" during his detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. He wore a yellow prison outfit and was shackled at the feet.

A mask obscured his face, but his beard and hair were shorter than the man shown in the videos.

Manley intently watched the videos on either a monitor on the defense table or projected onto a wall, sometimes with a furrowed brow.

His federal public defender, Samuel Eilers, unsuccessfully argued for conditional release, saying Manley didn't own guns, didn't post about the riots on social media and didn't have a substance abuse problem.

Among the factors in the judge's decision to detain him was that breaching the Capitol by itself was a threat to society, and Manley could be a flight risk since he didn't have any close ties to Anchorage.

Manley served with the Marines for four years but received a less-than-honorable discharge, the judge said.

Two months ago, Manley moved to Alaska where he maintains an apartment. He is a commercial fisherman and was arrested by the FBI while arriving Friday at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

FBI Special Agent Marissa Taggart said she was tipped off by the agent working on the case that Manley would arrive, and she arrested him without incident on the plane.

An informant told the FBI they met Manley who he had allegedly told them he attended the riot, according to a statement filed by a special agent investigating the case.

The informant later identified Manley from a photograph taken during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The informant also alleged that Manley had earlier shown them the same photo from a list of wanted persons distributed by the FBI.

The FBI alleged Manley's phone used a cell site near the Capitol on January 6. A relative of Manley's also identified him to the FBI, and said Manley had discussed going to the January 6 rally in Washington, D.C., the document says.

Jan. 6 Riot
Christian Matthew Manley, who currently lives in Alaska, faces a handful of charges for alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol insurrection, has been denied release from jail. Above, supporters of President Donald Trump gather outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 6. Shafkat Anowar/AP Photo