A Utah man charged with attacking officers at the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol will be evaluated for mental competency after he swore and screamed during a court hearing Thursday.
Landon Kenneth Copeland, 33, is accused of shoving officers and pushing a fence at them on the grounds of the Capitol as part of a group of people trying to breach police lines. The FBI says they matched photos of Copeland to videos of the riot.
Copeland appeared virtually in a courtroom in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
He screamed that the government is killing people and said it is taking 70% of his income through taxes, prompting United States Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather to have him muted. Copeland also hung up at least two times during the hearing.
The Daily Beast reported that Copeland invited his friends to join the hearing earlier in the day. Meriweather kicked one of them off for using an inappropriate screen name, according to The Daily Beast. He also told a court clerk she is evil.
Copeland caused a ruckus in other hearings as well, according to The Daily Beast. He apparently tried to object when a defense attorney for another riot suspect, who appeared in court before Copeland, said his client had “Foxitus” from watching Fox News.
Copeland is an Iraq war veteran who was shot and wounded, according to one of his lawyers. She said he has been experiencing severe PTSD.
Meriweather ordered a mental competency evaluation for Copeland. Competency evaluations are used to see if a defendant is mentally well enough to stand trial.
A prosecutor suggested the outburst might have been driven in part by anger because the government says it found Facebook posts of Copeland’s where he said people should bring guns to the capitol next time, since they are being prosecuted for peaceful protests.
Release conditions for Copeland will likely be addressed at his next hearing on May 19.