Derrick Evans, who was elected to be a West Virginia delegate but then never served, could serve up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge related to disrupting Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Evans pleaded guilty today to a civil disorder charge before U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth of the District of Columbia. A sentencing hearing has been set for 12:30 p.m. June 26, 2022. At that time, Evans is likely to publicly elaborate on his activities at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Good luck, Mr. Evans, in the meantime,” the judge said at the end of today’s hearing.
“Thank you, sir. I appreciate it,” Evans responded.
Evans pleaded guilty to a superseding information outlining the basics of the civil disorder charge. It indicates that on Jan. 6, he committed or attempted to commit “an act to obstruct, impede or interfere with a law enforcement officer from the United States Capitol Police, lawfully engaged in the performance of his or her official duties” during a civil disorder.
“So that’s the charge you’d actually be pleading guilt to, you understand that?” Judge Lamberth asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Evans replied.
The maximum sentence is five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and supervised release of no more than three years. Evans also would have to pay $2,000 restitution as his share of damage done to the Capitol.
“So you are in fact guilty of the offense?” Lamberth asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Evans replied.
“You admit it?”
“Yes, your honor.”
In exchange for his guilty plea, several other charges will be dropped against Evans.
One charge to be dropped is felony obstruction of an official proceeding, which could have led to a fine or no more than 20 years in jail.
Evans also previously faced four misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Prosecutors today indicated Evans had a loose agreement to cooperate with police: “It is accurate as part of the plea agreement that he agreed to sit down with law enforcement if requested, but there’s no formal cooperation agreement with Mr. Evans and the government.”
Evans was a newly-elected West Virginia delegate when he joined a busload of people bound for the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. After his own livestreamed videos and social media posts revealed his activities that day, he resigned his legislative seat before ever serving.
In videos of the crowds outside, leading up to the Capitol entry, Evans narrated that “They’re making an announcement now saying if Pence betrays us you better get your mind right because we’re storming the building.”
Evans wound up in a crowd outside a Capitol door. In that video, less than 30 seconds in, Evans says “There we go! Open the door” before beginning to shout “Our house! Our house!”
As alarms blared, Evans surged through the door and turned the camera on his own face. “The door is cracked! … We’re in, we’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
Evans is now the third West Virginian to plead guilty on charges from their entry into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, disrupting Congress.
Eric Barber, a former Parkersburg councilman pleaded guilty to two federal misdemeanors on Dec. 16 and is scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. March 31. Gracyn Courtright, a Hurricane native and college student, pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor last August 30 and was sentenced to a month in prison. Courtright has been serving that at FDC Philadelphia and is scheduled for release March 29.
Another West Virginian, George Tanios, is set for trial June 6. Tanios is accused of collaborating in the assault of U.S. Capitol police officers with pepperspray.