A Marion county judge has granted Chandler Pappas, a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, a request to move out of state as he awaits trial for his role in the Dec. 21 breach of the Oregon Capitol building in Salem.
Pappas has been a frequent attendee at far-right protests throughout Oregon and Washington, giving speeches at Proud Boy and Trump rallies. Over the last year Pappas has shown up armed to counter-protest social justice causes since his friend and fellow Patrior Prayer member, Aaron “Jay” Danielson, was killed by a self-described “100% anti-facist” activist at a pro-Trump protest in Portland over the summer.
Right wing counter protester Chandler Pappas chambers a round while walking past a vigil for Kevin Peterson Friday night. Peterson was shot and killed by Police Thursday, sparking protests by BLM and right wing groups.— Nathan Howard (@SmileItsNathan) October 31, 2020
For @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/w1aijYaWp8
During the storming of the Oregon Capitol late last year, photos emerged on social media that appeared to show Pappas macing Oregon State Police troopers as they tried to prevent protesters from entering the statehouse.
Last month, a grand jury indicted Pappas with eight felonies, including six counts of using mace against police officers and one count of first degree burglary.
Pappas was part of the unlawful assembly that was declared on Dec. 21 when right wing protesters attempted to break into the Capitol. A photo appears to show him spraying mace at police that day. The second image is one he tweeted of himself from Dec. 21, to compare clothing. pic.twitter.com/VdoHBUbEKH— Eddy Binford-Ross (@eddybinfordross) January 5, 2021
Pappas is also awaiting trial for a separate second degree criminal mischief charge from earlier last year, a misdemeanor.
A defense attorney for Pappas petitioned the court to allow him to move out of state while awaiting trial. In a signed declaration to the court, Pappas wrote, “I feel there is little left for me in Portland except trouble at this time, and I wish to avoid the potential for further problems.”
Prosecutors raised objections to Pappas’ request to move out of state during the Thursday court hearing, though previous objections did not make it into the court file due to an error, according to the Marion County district attorney’s office. Marion County Circuit Court Judge Courtland Geyer granted the request over those objections.
A pretrial release report conducted in January found Pappas scored a 72 out of a possible 100 points on the public safety checklist, a standard report used to assess a person’s risk if released while awaiting trial. The report recommended “high” levels of monitoring for Pappas. That category can include GPS monitoring, random drug testing, curfews and checking in with the court more than once a week. None of those conditions were included as part of Pappas’ release agreement. However, Pappas is barred from possessing firearms, consuming drugs or alcohol, going to bars, or having contact with victims.
Pappas was initially released from jail with a bail of $250,000 and conditions that included keeping a distance of two blocks from the Oregon statehouse and a quarter mile from “demonstrations.” Those conditions were not included in his amended release to move out of state.
Upon receiving the news of the amended release, Pappas tweeted “Az, Here I come!”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the Marion County district attorney’s office’s position on Chandler Pappas’ release, due to a court filing error.