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Former West Virginia legislator who stormed Capitol pleads guilty

Derek Evans, who filmed himself on Jan. 6, 2021, screaming, "Derek Evans is in the Capitol!," is set to be sentenced on June 22.
Image: Derrick Evans exits the courthouse after being arraigned on Jan. 8, 2021, in Huntington, W.Va.
Derrick Evans exits the courthouse after being arraigned on Jan. 8, 2021, in Huntington, W.Va.Sholten Singer / The Herald-Dispatch via AP file

WASHINGTON — A former West Virginia Republican lawmaker has pleaded guilty to a felony charge after he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Derrick Evans was charged and arrested just two days after he joined rioters who attacked the Capitol during a joint session of Congress to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes formalizing Joe Biden’s win.

He resigned from his seat representing the state's 19th House District within a week of the attack, before indicating he would take a plea deal in February.

Evans, 36, pleaded guilty on Friday to one felony count of civil disorder, admitting that he committed and attempted to commit an act to obstruct, impede, or interfere with a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of their duties during a civil disorder.

Image: West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans is given the oath of office Dec. 14, 2020 at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans is given the oath of office Dec. 14, 2020 at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislature via AP

Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia accepted Evans' guilty plea. His sentencing is set for June 22.

Under a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury last year, Evans had faced five counts, including a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Before he stormed the Capitol, Evans posted a meme that said "FIGHT FOR TRUMP" online, asking his Facebook friends if they were heading to D.C. He also posted another meme ahead of Jan. 6, saying the day would be "WILD." One day before the attack, Evans shared a photo that showed individuals on a charter bus headed to D.C.

Evans recorded himself with the mob on Jan. 6, even narrating the events in third person. “We’re in, we’re in! Derrick EVANS is in the Capitol!” he said in a video that shows him storming the Capitol.

After Jan. 6, he attempted to claim he was "there as an independent member of the media to film history."

More than 775 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and more than 225 have pleaded guilty. Over 50 people have been sentenced to periods of incarceration.

The total number of suspects who either unlawfully entered the Capitol building or assaulted law enforcement and members of the media outside of the building tops 2,500, and the FBI has hundreds more cases in the works.