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Government

New Charges Added For Former W.Va. Lawmaker Involved In Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Riots

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Federal authorities have tacked on additional charges for a former West Virginia lawmaker involved in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

According to a federal information filed Monday, 36-year-old Derrick Evans, of Wayne County, now faces four counts. Charges include entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct, violent entry and demonstrating in a Capitol building.

Prior to Monday’s filing, Evans had only faced the first two charges.

An information is similar to an indictment, but typically indicates that a suspect is cooperating with investigators.

Evans was one of thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump who gathered on Capitol Hill to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election. At the time of the breach of the Capitol, lawmakers were certifying each state’s election results, thus declaring Joe Biden the winner.

In initial charging documents, federal officials said Evans live-streamed video of himself with a large group of protestors entering the Capitol.

“We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol,” he says at one point during the video.

The Facebook page where Evans live-streamed his role in the insurrection has since been deleted, although copies of the video are widely available online.

In a separate Facebook post on the night of Jan. 6, Evans wrote that he did not have “negative interactions” with law enforcement and said he did not participate in “any destruction that may have occurred.”

He wrote that he was in D.C. “as an independent member of the media to film history.”

Evans is among other West Virginians charged for taking part in the violence on Capitol Hill.

George Tanios, of Morgantown, has pleaded not guilty to assault on a U.S. Capitol police officer. Former Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber has also pleaded not guilty to three counts related to entering the capitol building. Gracyn Courtright, a University of Kentucky student from Hurricane, pleaded not guilty for her role in the events. Jeffery Finley, of Martinsburg, was charged last month with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

Just days after Jan. 6 — and before serving in the West Virginia Legislature — Evans resigned from his seat in the House of Delegates that he first won in the 2020 general election. In a Jan. 9 resignation letter to House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, Evans said he took responsibility for his role in the events at the U.S. Capitol.

“I hope this action I take today can remove any cloud of distraction from the state Legislature, so my colleagues can get to work in earnest building a brighter future for our state,” Evans wrote. “And more importantly, I hope it helps to begin the healing process, so we can all move forward and come together as ‘One Nation, Under God.’”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Evans' age as 35, not 36. That error has been corrected.


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