Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Insurrectionist lawmaker pleads guilty, will cooperate with feds

The state delegate in West Virginia resigned from office shortly after his arrest the day after the Capitol riot.

WASHINGTON (CN) — Derrick Evans, whose participation in the Capitol riot forced him out of office, pleaded guilty Friday to engaging in civil disorder in connection with the deadly attempt to overthrow America's government.

Evans, 36, of Wayne County, West Virginia, struck a plea deal with prosecutors in January and agreed to cooperate in exchange for the government dropping the five other counts against him, including obstruction, entering a restricted building and unlawful parading. 

Sworn in as a member of the state House of Delegates only a month before the riot of Jan. 6, 2021, the Republican Evans recorded himself himself entering the Capitol wearing a helmet.

At one point in his video, the former lawmaker can be heard saying, "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol! We're taking this country back whether you like it or not!" 

Evans was arrested the day after the riot, Jan. 7, 2021, and he stepped down from his state office position shortly after.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth accepted his plea on Friday and ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine.

Evans faces up to five years in prison at his sentencing hearing scheduled for June 22. The judge, a Reagan appointee, has ordered both parties to file presentencing reports before then.

Earlier on Friday, Lamberth accepted another guilty plea in a Capitol riot case from off-duty Virginia police officer Jacob Fracker.

Jacob Fracker, 30, of Rocky Mount, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a plea deal to dismiss the other charges against him, including obstruction and disorderly conduct.

Fracker admitted that, by the time he and fellow off-duty officer Thomas Robertson entered the Capitol during the riot, they had already agreed to attempt to delay the congressional proceedings and assisted each other in doing so.

According to court documents, the men drove to Washington on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021. They brought their police identification badges and guns along, but left them in the car. 

After attending a rally near the Washington Monument, the men headed toward the Capitol and both donned gas masks as they approached the Lower West Terrace. 

Around 2:15 p.m., the off-duty police duo reportedly took a selfie “making an obscene gesture” in front of a statue in the Capitol Crypt, according to the government's case.

Fracker’s admission and agreement to cooperate with the government could weigh on the case against Robertson, who has pleaded not guilty to the same charges and is awaiting trial.

Fracker was arrested on Jan. 13 last year and he faces up to five years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

To date, more than 750 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot. 

As of March 10, approximately 195 people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, 29 have pleaded guilty to felonies.

Follow @EmilyZantowNews
Categories / Criminal, Government, Politics

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.