Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Hasson didn’t meet standards for continuing detention before his trial on gun and drug charges, a federal judge has ruled. The judge, Charles Bernard Day, ruled that Hasson’s charges were not severe enough to merit his pretrial detention. Prosecutors had argued that Hasson, an admitted white nationalist who once wrote that “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth,” was too dangerous to release. Hasson had drawn up a kill list, said he admired the white-nationalist murderer Anders Breivik, and wanted a “white homeland.” Authorities discovered 15 firearms, silencers, and 1,000 rounds of ammunition in a search of his home.
As Ryan Reilly reported for HuffPost on Thursday, Day may have been restricted by the law. Federal law doesn’t criminalize domestic terrorism. Prosecutors could — and did — call Hasson a domestic terrorist, but they can’t charge him as one. Federal law may also not apply to Hasson’s alleged plan to kill prominent Democrats and liberal journalists, Reilly added.
Hasson did not walk out of court a free man on Thursday. He will remain in custody until a future hearing, where Day will determine the terms of his pretrial release. According to CNN, Day said he still had “grave concerns” about Hasson, and added that he’s “got to have a whole lot of supervision.”