The ruling all but ensures that the Justice Department won’t be able to pursue homicide charges in Sicknick’s death. In March, two men — Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of West Virginia — were arrested and charged with assaulting Sicknick.
Attorneys for Khater and Tanios declined to comment to CNN in response to the Post report.
The pair traveled together to DC for the pro-Trump rally and have been charged with 10 criminal counts including conspiring to injure police and assaulting officers using a dangerous weapon. The charges have never connected the assault to Sicknick’s death, and prosecutors have not sought to hold any rioters accountable for murder.
Prosecutors say Khater and Tanios brought bear spray that wasn’t intended for use toward humans to Washington, DC, then Khater grabbed it during the siege in retaliation toward police protecting the Capitol building.
He allegedly sprayed three officers in the face including Sicknick, causing them all to have to take time out from manning the police barrier outside the Capitol building. Tanios is alleged to have brought the bear spray in a backpack.
Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.
The Justice Department has charged more than 100 defendants for assaulting officers during the riot — and in many cases have used police body camera and surveillance video to show the gruesome attacks to judges. More than 80 US Capitol Police, who work for the federal government, and more than 60 Metropolitan Police, who work for the city, were assaulted, the DOJ said last week.
In videos shown in court previously, Sicknick and other officers whom Khater sprayed can be seen lurching away as they are hit in the face. Sicknick can be seen walking by himself, stopping to put his hands on his knees on the steps of the Capitol. The clip has not been released publicly aside from being played in court once in March.
In court, lawyers involved have made clear that Khater spoke extensively to investigators already. Khater and Tanios have been in jail since their arrests more than a month ago.
“We also wish to express our appreciation to the millions of people who have offered their support and sympathies during this difficult time. Knowing our personal tragedy and loss is shared by our nation brings hope for healing,” the statement said.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.