Former police officer charged in Capitol riot case will head to D.C. courtroom

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A former Rocky Mount police officer who’s been charged in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol will head to a D.C. courtroom for his next hearing.

Thomas Robertson was scheduled for a virtual hearing Wednesday, which was continued to Thursday because of technical difficulties.

Robertson appeared for the virtual hearing Wednesday from the Central Virginia Regional Jail. Robertson apparently initially appeared via video (the public is only able to listen in over the phone), but technical difficulties from a passing storm caused Robertson to only be able to participate over the phone.

During a discussion of Robertson’s social media posts, Robertson requested to speak with his attorney. The judge determined the technical difficulties at the jail and limitations of the teleconference program would now allow Rollins and Robertson to speak privately and continued the conference to the same time Thursday.

As all parties attempted to join the teleconference hearing Thursday, the judge said that out of fairness, he would not feel comfortable holding the proceeding over the phone. He determined the technical issues lay with the jail and ordered that Robertson be transported to D.C. as soon as possible.

The judge said they would continue the hearing in his courtroom in D.C. but a specific date and time for that hearing had not yet been available as of publication time.

Thomas Robertson was out on bond before being taken into custody July 7. Prosecutors claim Robertson violated the conditions and called for his rearrest. They said in recent court documents that Robertson had been buying and selling guns online after being ordered not to possesses a gun. The FBI searched Robertson’s home and reported finding a loaded M4 rifle, ammunition, silencers and a partially assembled pipe bomb. Robertson and his attorney, Mark Rollins, responded, claiming that Robertson did not possess any guns or destructive devices, making the argument that ordering guns on the internet does not equate to possession. The ownership of the M4 and whether the pipe bomb and silencers were dangerous weapons were points of debate between Rollins and D.C. prosecutors during a portion of the hearing Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.