Wayne Delegate Charged with Crimes Stemming from U.S. Capitol Riot

by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor, Lawrence J. Smith
Del. Derrick Evans
Del. Derrick Evans

Huntington - A freshman member of the West Virginia House of Delegates was arrested Friday, and charged with crimes related to the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Del. Derrick Evans, R-Wayne, 35, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and FBI agents, and arraigned at the Sidney L. Christie U.S. Courthouse on charges of entering any restricted building without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The charges where filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, and came following a press conference by acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin who announced charges against those who were identified storming the Capitol Wednesday during the certification of the Electoral College returns. 

Following his arraignment, Evans was released on his own recognizance.  The U.S. Department of Justice has 30 days to bring an indictment against him. 

On Thursday, John Bryan, a Monroe County-based civil rights attorney, announced Evans retained him to defend him against allegations of Evans posting a video to his Facebook page engaging in the rioting.  In a three-page letter, Bryan said, Evans "was exercising his Frist Amendment rights to peacefully protest and to film a historic, and dynamic event.  He engaged in no violence, no rioting, no destruction of property and not illegal behavior."

Since images surfaced of Evans' appearance at the Capitol, fellow delegates have either called for his resignation or for his suspension pending an investigation.  House Speaker Roger Hanshaw ,R-Clay, has not said what action may be taken against Evans saying only in a prepared statement Wednesday “[he] will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”

Both the House, and Senate are scheduled to hold their opening day Wednesday, Jan. 13 where the respective bodies to conduct a one-day, pro-forma session.  After adjourning, the Legislature will re-convene on February 10 for its regular 60-day session.