YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Attorneys for the New Middletown man accused of threatening the Jewish Community Center asked a federal judge to limit testimony about the number of weapons their client has.
Attorneys for James Reardon, 20, filed the motion Monday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio before U.S. Judge Patricia Gaughan.
Reardon has been in custody since an August 17 search warrant was served at his home after authorities learned about a video he posted online in July, in which they say he threatened the JCC in Liberty.
The video has screams and sirens as background noise and shows Reardon holding a gun, investigators say. They say the caption identifies the man holding the gun as “local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”
Seamus is a nod to Reardon’s Irish heritage, authorities say.
In the video, which was taken at a shooting range and later edited to include the sirens and screams, Reardon is holding an MP-40 submachine gun.
When police searched his home, they found other weapons, including an M-16 rifle, an M-16 replica pellet gun, a bayonet and a knife, which prosecutors believe is a Hitler Youth knife, the motion says.
The attorneys relied on a ruling in a 2005 case before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals where a man convicted on a drug charge appealed, saying during his trial, prosecutors introduced a gun and bulletproof vest found during a search of the defendant’s home as evidence even though the defendant was not charged with a firearms violation.
The circuit court ruled the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the gun because it was never used in the commission of a crime.
In the Reardon case, while he faces a charge of using a gun during a crime, it is only the weapon seen in the video used during the threat, the attorneys wrote.
By allowing testimony or evidence about other guns, the government is trying to make their client look a violent person or portray him in a negative way, Reardon’s attorneys wrote.
A timetable for when the motion may be heard has not been set yet.