The North Carolina man who allegedly live-streamed himself making a bomb threat outside the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has pleaded with a judge to let him out of jail so he can take care of his wife.
Floyd Ray Roseberry, 50, has been in custody since his arrest in August for allegedly driving his truck onto the sidewalk in front of the Library in Congress. From there, he allegedly took to Facebook and streamed video of himself demanding that someone “call the police and tell them to come out here and clear the Capitol.”
“They need to clear that ’cause I got a bomb in here,” Roseberry said, according to the criminal complaint.
“The fucking revolution starts today Joe Biden,” he also allegedly said, adding: “If you want to shoot me and take the chance of blowing up two-and-a-half city blocks, ’cause that tool box is full, ammonium nitrate is full.”
He is charged with threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against the United States, which is punishable by up to life in prison. He is also charged with threatening to use an explosive device, which carries a potential 10-year prison sentence.
After Roseberry’s arrest, a court-appointed psychologist said Roseberry had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and needed more medical treatment. He was later deemed competent to stand trial.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Roseberry’s lawyer David Bos indicated at a status conference in March that his client may be close to a plea deal with the government.
At a status conference Monday, Bos said that plea negotiations were ongoing, and that he was trying to get information from the D.C. jail regarding an incident last year in which, according to Bos, Roseberry “came to the aid of a correctional officer and basically saved his life.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tortorice said that he had not received any documentation regarding such an incident.
Roseberry then started speaking on his own behalf, begging U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to release him from detention so he can attend to his ailing wife.
“My wife is going through some cancer problems and she’s going to have tests and stuff done on her lymph nodes and other parts of her body,” Roseberry said. “If she has to have chemo, she won’t have [anybody] there to take care of her.”
Roseberry then made an apparent reference to the incident described earlier by his lawyer.
“I’ve shown … that I’m a good standup person,” Roseberry said. “I helped several COs in situations they would have gotten hurt in.”
Roseberry said that none of their adult children live close enough to care for his wife.
“I want to be home and help her in some way,” Roseberry said, adding: “I’ll come back. I‘m not a flight risk, I’m 50 years old, I’m not a flight risk.”
Roseberry said that he had the support of his friends and neighbors, and that the right medication has helped him.
“My community, they stand behind me because they know I’m a good man,” Roseberry said.
“I too am saddened by the events that got us here today,” he added. “Under the right medications I would have never done it.”
Roseberry said that several family members have died over the past year, including his mother and his father-in-law, but he now has a “better view” on who he is.
“I’m on the right medication now, and I know how to handle things a whole lot better,” Roseberry said.
Bos then told Contreras that he may consider making an official request to change Roseberry’s detention status.
“Your Honor, it may well be that we file a motion to reconsider his detentions,” Bos said. “Obviously our chances would be greater if the government didn’t oppose that.”
Contreras, while not unsympathetic, tried nonetheless to manage Roseberry’s expectations.
“I understand your situation, Mr. Roseberry,” said Contreras, a Barack Obama appointee. “You have to understand, it was a very serious incident, and the government perhaps will object.”
“I want you to have reasonable expectations as to what’s within the realm of possibility,” he added. “It may be possible. It’s perhaps more likely that it’s not.”
Contreras urged Roseberry to talk to his lawyer, and said that if Roseberry’s wife ends up needing chemotherapy, the judge would “consider all the facts” at that point.
[Image via FBI court filing.]
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