May 14 (UPI) — A federal judge on Monday ordered that a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant remain in jail until his trial on charges he stockpiled weapons and created a hit list naming Supreme Court justices.
Judge George J. Hazel of the U.S. District Court in Maryland overturned a magistrate’s ruling that Lt. Christopher Hasson be released from jail under strict supervision, stating he must remain in jail despite not facing terrorism charges.
Hazel said that while the charges against Hasson are unremarkable, his “history and characteristics” indicate enough potential danger to the community to warrant his continued jailing.
During a hearing Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom presented four long guns Hasson modified with advanced sights and grips as well as an armored vest he said Hasson planned to use in the attack.
“It weighs tens of pounds and is not intended for hunting in any way unless you’re hunting people and expect return fire,” Windom said.
Windom also said Hasson lied about his residence in Virginia to purchase weapons more quickly and noted some of the weapons he once possessed are unaccounted for.
Hazel said the evidence presented so far, including the 15 firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition seized from Hasson’s home, showed he “intended to use these items to commit a series of violent acts.”
Hasson’s public defender, Elizabeth Oyer, stated prosecutors were requesting her client’s continued jailing based on a “gut feeling” and were using “sweeping, dramatic rhetoric that is not bolstered by supported facts.”
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Day expressed “grave concerns” about releasing Hasson from jail, but ultimately ruled he was not as dangerous as prosecutors stated.
Hasson describes himself as a white nationalist and prosecutors said he created a hit list of several Democrats, two Supreme Court justices, journalists and social media executives
He was arrested on Feb. 15 and faces up to 31 years in prison if convicted on drug and firearms charges over the stockpile of weapons he kept in his Maryland home.