Central Texas business owner charged in Capitol riot files motion to dismiss 5 of 9 charges

Christopher Ray Grider  has rejected a plea offer to felony charges in the Capitol riot because...
Christopher Ray Grider has rejected a plea offer to felony charges in the Capitol riot because he and his attorney believe “they are not legally or factually sustainable."(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 3:24 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Central Texas vineyard owner Christopher Ray Grider is asking a federal judge to dismiss five of the nine charges against him for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Grider’s attorney, Brent Mayr, of Houston, is seeking the dismissal of Counts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the superseding indictment government prosecutors obtained against Grider in early June. The superseding indictment added a third felony charge and one misdemeanor count against the 40-year-old Grider and increases his maximum prison time if convicted to 39 ½ years.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, of the District of Columbia, already has denied a request from Grider to dismiss an obstruction of an official proceeding charge, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

Mayr’s new motion again seeks dismissal of that count, plus dismissal of a civil disorder count and three counts charging Grider, co-owner of Kissing Tree Vineyards in Bruceville-Eddy, with violations of restricted building or grounds statutes.

Mayr told the judge during a status conference in early June that Grider would consider pleading guilty to misdemeanor counts. He added Grider has rejected a plea offer to felony charges because they believe “they are not legally or factually sustainable.” Without dismissal of the felonies, Grider likely is headed to trial, Mayr said earlier this month.

Mayr did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment for this story Thursday.

Grider alleges in the motion to dismiss that the civil disorder count “must be dismissed as the indictment fails to allege a legally sufficient ‘federally protected function’ whose performance was affected by the ‘civil disorder’ on Jan. 6.”

The motion also alleges the counts are constitutionally overbroad or unconstitutionally vague.

“This is more of the same,” Mayr said earlier this month. “The government is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It’s just more of the same. We are not concerned one bit about these new charges because he is innocent of the majority of those charges.”

The superseding indictment against Grider adds a felony civil disorder count, an allegation that carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison. Count 2 charges him with obstruction of an official proceeding; Count 3 with destruction of government property; Count 4 with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and Count 5 with disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

Count 6 charges Grider with engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; Count 7 with disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; Count 8 with act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings; and Count 9 with parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

The judge has set another status conference for Aug. 4.

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