A West Virginia lawmaker who participated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol while livestreaming the deadly insurrection has been sentenced to three months in prison.
Derrick Evans, 37, was arrested and charged shortly after the attack, in part thanks to self-incriminating video footage he shot of himself leading and egging on rioters who overwhelmed police at the Capitol.
He resigned, then pleaded guilty to the felony of committing civil disorder in March, but was given bail and appeared virtually from his home for sentencing on Wednesday.
Evans, who had been sworn into the Republican-led legislature less than a month before the attack, is among 21 lawmakers known to have joined the rioters trying to overturn the 2020 election. He is the only one to be prosecuted so far.
Evans had a penchant for broadcasting live on his Facebook page, Derrick Evans – The Activist, which had 32,000 followers, whom he encouraged to travel to Washington to “fight for Trump”, according to prosecutors.
He documented his bus journey to the capital, and then headed straight for the east side of the Capitol. Donning a helmet, Evans shouted out updates to the growing crowd about the violence occurring on the west side of the Capitol, where rioters first breached the building, according to the sentencing memo.
Evans narrated as the mob eventually overwhelmed the police and pushed through the Rotunda doors, according to video clips from his account played in court.
“We’re taking this house, I told you today! Patriots stand up! … My people didn’t vote for me because I was a coward.” After breaching the building, he said, “We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
He deleted the video later that day, but it had already been widely circulated.
Evans is among at least 825 people so far charged in connection with the insurrection, of whom 310 have pleaded guilty.
Before January 6, Evans had streamed live footage of himself outside West Virginia’s only abortion clinic, which led to a 10ft fence being built around the building and a clinic volunteer having to obtain a restraining order against him. Evans also broadcast his protests against Black Lives Matter and drag shows.
On Wednesday Evans told the judge that he took responsibility for his actions and regretted that his actions would leave his kids “fatherless for months”.