A Louisiana man convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting a handcuffed civilian while serving as a U.S. Army soldier in Iraq more than a decade ago was arrested on Monday on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 riots, according to the Department of Justice.
Edward Richmond Jr., 40, faces felony charges of civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. He was also hit with several misdemeanor charges, according to court documents.
Federal investigators first zeroed in on Richmond as an unidentified helmeted figure beating law enforcement officers with a baton in social media videos taken at the Capitol, court records detail. Dubbed “Buff Lightyear” by online sleuths, he was eventually identified by at least two confidential informants. One, looking at Richmond’s body armor and goggles, commented to investigators, “He looks like he’s going to war,” prosecutors wrote.
The 40-year-old is set to make an initial court appearance on Tuesday. His lawyer, John McLindon, told NBC News that his client, who first approached him about a year ago, intends to enter a plea of not guilty.
Richmond had been deployed in Iraq for less than three weeks when he fatally shot an Iraqi cowherd, Muhamad Husain Kadir, on Feb. 28, 2004, according to a Washington Post article written two years later. Richmond would later claim that he’d been told by his sergeant to shoot the cowherd “if he moves,” an order the officer denied giving. When the cowherd lost his balance walking across the uneven field, stumbling into the sergeant, Richmond fired a single shot at the back of his head.
He was initially charged with unpremeditated murder, but later that year a military panel of five officers and five noncommissioned officers found Richmond guilty of voluntary manslaughter, Stars & Stripes reported at the time. Then 20 years old, Richmond was sentenced to three years in a military prison and given a dishonorable discharge.
More than 1,200 people across all 50 states have been arrested and charged for their roles in the Capitol attacks, according to prosecutors. Roughly 900 have been convicted thus far. More than 440 of those defendants have, like Richmond, been handed felony charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.