HUNTINGTON — A former West Virginia delegate’s choice to livestream himself while storming the U.S. Capitol as Congress certified presidential election results in 2021 caught up with him Friday as he pleaded guilty to a felony.
Derrick Evans, 37, pleaded guilty Friday to civil disorder before U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth for his role in the riot. The investigation into Evans started Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington after livestreamed videos surfaced showing him pushing forward into the Capitol in a sea of people while screaming, “Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
The mob in Washington, D.C., had formed in support of then-President Donald Trump, causing Congress to temporarily stop its progress in certifying presidential election results. Evans was elected to the House of Delegates from Wayne County in November 2020, but he resigned shortly after his arrest.
Evans faces a sentence of up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $50,000. He also will be required to pay $2,000 in restitution to the architect of the Capitol. He also could be sentenced to up to three years of supervised release after he is released from prison.
He will be sentenced June 22 after a pretrial investigation is conducted into his personal history and any criminal history.
FBI agents referred to Evans’ livestream in the initial criminal complaint against him. He initially had been indicted on misdemeanors, but an indictment handed up in June added a charge of obstruction of an official proceeding; aiding and abetting; 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.
The video showed him joining and encouraging a group to unlawfully enter the Capitol through a closed door. The agent referenced previous Facebook posts in which Evans referenced “taking back America,” “stop the steal” and “storm coming.” Evans also posted a picture of a full charter bus he said was headed to D.C.
His first attorney, John H. Bryant, said Evans had been exercising his First Amendment rights peacefully.
He previously had pleaded not guilty to those charges, but the information trumps the previous charges filed and the rest would be dismissed.
While the plea agreement was reached months ago, Evans’ previous attorney, David Tyson, was not admitted to practice in the court in which Evans’ case was filed and also had an emergency, after which he could not represent Evans anymore, thus attorney Paul Taylor took the case.
Taylor said Friday the 11-page plea agreement calls for all other charges to be dismissed and that Evans agrees to cooperate with law enforcement in the Jan. 6 investigation, if requested.
The agreement, which was not read out loud during Friday’s hearing, outlines what Evans’ involvement in the attack was and sets forth the sentencing guideline analysis, which would determine a recommended sentencing range. The judge does not have to follow those guidelines.
It also addresses special conditions he will have to follow after his release.