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Jan. 6 felony rioter Derrick Evans loses GOP House primary in West Virginia

Rep. Carol Miller fended off a challenge from Evans, who was sentenced to three months in prison for his role in the Capitol attack.
Side by side of Derrick Evans and Carol Miller
Derrick Evans, who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, lost his Republican primary race in West Virginia to Rep. Carol Miller.West Virginia Legislative Photography via AP; CQ Roll Call via AP

WASHINGTON — Derrick Evans, a Jan. 6 rioter who admitted in court that he committed a felony crime against police officers when he stormed the Capitol while yelling "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!" lost a Republican primary race against Rep. Carol Miller in West Virginia, NBC News projects.

Evans pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstructing or impeding officers during a civil disorder and was sentenced to three months in prison in June 2022. Evans struck an apologetic tone after he admitted under oath in court that he had, in fact, knowingly committed a felony crime on Jan. 6, 2021, but he has since rebranded himself as a "political prisoner" and spread conspiracy theories about the attack in which he took part.

Video that Evans livestreamed online on Jan. 6, which was later presented as evidence during his sentencing, proved to be the most damning evidence against him. It highlighted him storming the Capitol while bragging in the third person, as well as his thoughts and his knowledge that his conduct was unlawful.

“We’re taking this country back whether you like it or not!" he shouted at police officers protecting the Capitol. "Patriots ain’t being quiet anymore. Patriots ain’t gonna stand down to tyranny anymore! Patriots ain’t gonna stand down for stolen elections anymore!”

Evans then speculated that Donald Trump would pardon anyone arrested for storming the Capitol. “We’re in; there’s too many for them [the police] to do anything about it," he said on video. "Every side, every angle! Oh, my gosh!”

Text messages sent by Evans also indicated he knew immediately that what he did was against the law.

“Should I delete it?” Evans asked in a text message after he stormed the building. “So there’s no evidence of what I just did?”

Evans' fundraising emails, with subject lines like "I did time in Prison for Trump," have highlighted his actions on Jan. 6 as a selling point for his candidacy. One ad even featured stock video of fake FBI agents busting through a window feet-first, when, in fact, video shows that Evans' 2021 arrest was relatively mundane.

More recently, Jan. 6 video Evans published and tried to raise money off of showed one of his fellow Trump supporters firing a gun into the air during the Capitol attack. That rioter, John Banuelos, has been arrested and is one of just 15 Jan. 6 defendants being held pretrial at the order of a federal judge.

Miller, who was first elected to the House in 2018, is a supporter of Trump, and she aligned with him in nearly all of her votes when he was in office. Miller was even one of 147 Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden's victory after the Capitol attack. Trump did not endorse in Miller's primary.

Evans was among more than 1,400 defendants charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. More than 1,000 defendants have been convicted, and more than 500, like Evans, have been sentenced to periods of incarceration from just a few days behind bars to 22 years in federal prison.

West Virginia's 1st Congressional District is solidly Republican, so Miller will be heavily favored to win re-election in the fall.