WASHINGTON (AP) — A Donald Trump supporter who was filmed assaulting police officers and storming the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 riots pleaded guilty Friday to two felony charges.
Tennessee resident Ronald Sandlin, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and to assault, resist or hinder certain officials.
Sandlin’s friends and accomplices, Nathaniel DeGrave and Josiah Colt, previously pleaded guilty: DeGrave to the same two felony counts as Sandlin, Colt to felony obstruction.
The trio attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, but watched Trump’s speech from a TGI Fridays in Virginia, where they were having lunch. After they arrived in DC, Sandlin repeatedly referred to the US Capitol as the “State Capitol building” before storming the building as alarms went off, court documents show. He then joined the crowd in trying to open fire doors to let in more troublemakers, grabbing an officer’s helmet in the process.
“Move out of the way! Your life is not worth living today,” Sandlin told officers, while recording himself. “You’re going to die, get out of the way!”
After the rioters made their way to the Senate, Sandlin began pushing officers who were trying to lock the Senate gallery doors. “Don’t close another door!” he yelled at them, telling other troublemakers to “hold the door.”
Once inside the Senate chamber, Sandlin celebrated with a video selfie. “we took it we did ithe said, as he wept and wheezed inside the Senate gallery. He later smoked marijuana in the Capitol rotunda, declaring that he had “made history” and that this was “our home,” according to court documents.
Sandlin also stole a book and attempted to steal an oil painting, but was stopped by other troublemakers.
Sandlin had solicited donations for his trip to DC on a fundraising website, writing that he needed support from “Patriots Defending Out Country On Jan 6th.”
More than 850 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack and more than 350 have pleaded guilty.
Earlier this week, a bodybuilder who dragged an officer down the Capitol steps pleaded guilty and a judge sentenced one of the rioters who assaulted former officer Michael Fanone to more than seven years in federal prison.