Jan. 6 rioter Derrick Evans loses West Virginia GOP congressional primary election

May 15, 2024
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WASHINGTON — Derrick Evans, a Jan. 6 rioter who admitted in court that he committed a felony crime against police officers when he stormed the Capitol while yelling “Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!,” lost a Republican primary race against Rep. Carol Miller in West Virginia, NBC News projects.

Evans pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstructing or impeding officers during a civil disorder and was sentenced to three months in prison in June 2022. Evans struck an apologetic tone after admitting under oath in court that he had, in fact, knowingly committed a felony crime on Jan. 6, but has since rebranded himself as a “political prisoner” and spread conspiracy theories about the attack in which he took part.

Footage that Evans live-streamed online on Jan. 6, which was later presented as evidence during his sentencing, proved to be the most damning evidence against him. It highlighted him storming the Capitol while bragging in the third person, as well as his thoughts and knowledge that his conduct was unlawful.

“We’re taking this country back whether you like it or not!” Evans shouted at police officers protected the Capitol building. “Patriots ain’t being quiet anymore. Patriots ain’t gonna stand down to tyranny anymore! Patriots ain’t gonna stand down for stolen elections anymore!”

He then speculated that Donald Trump would pardon anyone arrested for storming the Capitol. “We’re in; there’s too many for them [the police] to do anything about it,” Evans said on video. “Every side, every angle! Oh my gosh!”

Text messages sent by Evans also indicated he knew immediately that what he did was against the law.

“Should I delete it?” Evans asked in a text message after he stormed the building. “So there’s no evidence of what I just did?”

Evans’ fundraising emails, with subject lines like “I did time in Prison for Trump,” have highlighted his actions on Jan. 6 as a selling point for his candidacy. One ad even featured stock footage of fake FBI agents busting through a window feet-first, when, in fact, footage shows that Evans’ 2021 arrest was relatively mundane.

More recently, Jan. 6 footage Evans published and tried to raise money off of showed one of his fellow Trump supporters firing a gun into the air during the Capitol attack. That rioter, John Banuelos, has since been arrested and is now one of just 15 Jan. 6 defendants being held pretrial at the order of a federal judge.

Miller, who was first elected to the House in 2018, is a supporter of Trump, and aligned with him in nearly all of her votes when the he was in office. Miller was even one of 147 Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s victory after the Capitol attack. Trump did not endorse in Miller’s primary.

Evans was among more than 1,400 defendants charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. More than 1,000 defendants have been convicted, and more than 500 like Evans have been sentenced to periods of incarceration that have ranged from just a few days behind bars to 22 years in federal prison.

West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District is solidly Republican, so Miller will be heavily favored to win re-election in the fall.



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