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Decide Acquits Man Of Misdemeanors In Capitol Riot Trial


Decide Acquits Man Of Misdemeanors In Capitol Riot Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal decide on Wednesday acquitted a New Mexico man of misdemeanor fees that he illegally entered the U.S. Capitol and engaged in disorderly conduct after he walked into the constructing throughout last year’s riot.

U.S. District Decide Trevor McFadden issued the decision from the bench after listening to testimony with no jury within the case towards Matthew Martin. McFadden, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, acquitted Martin of all 4 counts for which he was charged.

Martin didn’t dispute that he joined a whole bunch of different folks in coming into the Capitol constructing in the course of the riot. He’s the third Capitol riot defendant whose case has been resolved by a trial. He’s the primary of the three to be acquitted of all fees that he confronted,

The primary two Capitol riot trials ended with convictions, though McFadden acquitted a kind of defendants of a disorderly conduct cost after a bench trial final month. A fourth trial is being held this week in Washington, D.C., for a former Virginia police officer charged within the assault.

Martin was amongst a whole bunch of individuals charged with federal crimes arising from the siege on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters disrupted Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Martin, whose bench trial began Tuesday, testified {that a} police officer waved him into the constructing after the riot erupted. A prosecutor dismissed that testimony as “nonsense.”

Martin was charged with 4 misdemeanor counts: coming into and remaining in a restricted constructing, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol constructing and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol constructing.

Dozens of Capitol riot defendants have pleaded responsible and been sentenced, however Martin is the primary to testify at a trial. He mentioned he “went with the stream” as he approached the Capitol and testified that he noticed a police officer wave him into the constructing. Martin remained contained in the Capitol for about 10 minutes after coming into the constructing by the Rotunda doorways, in accordance with prosecutors.

Martin mentioned he “loved the day” of the riot.

“It was a magical day in some ways,” he testified on Tuesday earlier than including, “I do know some unhealthy issues occurred.”

“You perceive that cops died?” Justice Division prosecutor Michael Romano requested Martin.

Not less than 9 folks died within the riot or its aftermath. Greater than 100 cops have been injured. One officer died after he collapsed hours after being sprayed with bear spray and different officers who tried to quell the riot have died by suicide within the months following the assault.

Prosecutors mentioned Martin, an engineer, labored for a authorities contractor on the Nationwide Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and held a top-secret safety clearance on Jan. 6. Martin mentioned he really labored at a unique facility in Los Alamos.

Protection legal professional Dan Cron mentioned Martin noticed one other particular person shake a police officer’s hand after coming into the Capitol. Martin positioned his hand on an officer’s shoulder “as a gesture of thanks and of fine will,” Cron mentioned.

“It was a really loud scene there. There was loads happening there to attempt to course of,” Cron informed the decide.

Martin isn’t accused of partaking in any violence or destruction.

“The entire time he’s in there he’s simply standing there,” Cron mentioned.

Romano, the Justice Division prosecutor, mentioned Martin joined the mob in crowding cops who have been making an attempt to disperse the group. The prosecutor mentioned Martin knew that he wasn’t allowed to be within the Capitol.

“The concept that he thought he had permission to do this is nonsense,” Romano mentioned.

Different riot defendants have additionally claimed police waved them in or mentioned they may enter, however it’s unclear how that testimony will probably be considered by the courts.

McFadden presided over a bench trial final month for Cuoy Griffin, a county official in New Mexico who helped discovered a gaggle known as Cowboys for Trump. The decide on March 22 convicted Griffin of illegally coming into restricted U.S. Capitol grounds however acquitted him of partaking in disorderly conduct.

On March 8, a jury determined the primary Capitol riot trial by convicting a Texas man, Man Reffitt, of storming the Capitol with a holstered handgun. Jurors additionally convicted Reffitt of obstructing Congress’ joint session to certify the Electoral Faculty vote, interfering with cops who have been guarding the Capitol and threatening his two teenage kids in the event that they reported him to regulation enforcement.

Reffitt and Griffin entered restricted areas outdoors the Capitol however not the constructing itself.

In the meantime, a jury trial began on Tuesday for a former police officer from Virginia who’s charged with storming the Capitol with a fellow officer.

A federal prosecutor mentioned former Rocky Mount police officer Thomas Robertson stormed the Capitol as a result of he believed the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from Trump and he wished to intervene with the certification of the Electoral Faculty vote.

The opposite former officer, Jacob Fracker, pleaded responsible to a riot-related cost and may very well be a key witness for prosecutors. Robertson’s trial resumed on Wednesday with testimony from a Metropolitan Police Division officer who supervised different officers in the course of the riot.

Greater than 770 folks have been charged with riot-related federal crimes. Over 240 of them have pleaded responsible, principally to misdemeanors, and over 140 of them have been sentenced.

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