CONCORD — A federal judge expressed a willingness on Monday to release Ian Freeman on bail while the Free Keene activist awaits trial on charges of wire fraud and cryptocurrency/money laundering.
District Court Judge Joseph Laplante told prosecutors and Freeman's defense lawyer to draw up a proposed bail order that would include a significant amount of money or property to guarantee his court appearance, travel restrictions and monitoring of his movements.
Freeman, 40, has been jailed since his arrest in mid-March.
"In a COVID environment, in a case like this, I'm not convinced detention is the right answer," Laplante said during a video-conference hearing that drew nearly 90 onlookers.
During the nearly hour-long hearing, prosecutors said Freeman was too much of a flight risk and a danger to the community, while his defense attorney said Freeman is eager to go to trial and flee the area.
"This is an individual, quite frankly, judge, you would have to swat him to keep him away from a courtroom," said defense lawyer Mark Sisti.