Friends of W.Va. Del. Derrick Evans: ‘He’s a great person’
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Friends of West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans, R-Wayne, are speaking out on his behalf. The potential punishment, they believe, doesn’t fit the crime.
“I’ve watched him grow up from a little kid to a grown adult now,” said Wayne Williamson, a family friend of Evans. “He’s a great person, him and his family are great people.”
On Friday, Evans was picked up by the FBI and taken to the federal courthouse in Huntington for a hearing. He is facing a federal charge after recording himself breaching the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“Derrick made a bad choice but I think some of that choice was brought on by some of the people that were poking and gouging,” Williamson said. “‘Get them Derrick, get them Derrick, sick ‘em Derrick.’ Derrick’s now in trouble and those people are going to be sitting at home watching it on TV and it really (upsets me) that my friend is going to be in trouble.”
Clint Maynard, another friend of Evans, said Evans didn’t realize there was a riot going on inside the Capitol and that he came through the opposite side of where the riot was.
“He was totally shocked when he heard about everything happening on the other side,” Maynard said. “They weren’t aware of anything going on. They simply walked in and talked to the guards at the doors, fist-bumped the guards. They walked around on a video that Derrick showed (and) he even says ‘hey listen guys, respect everything in here, it’s an artifact.’”
In one clip of a Facebook live video, Evans is heard in the video saying “the door is cracked,” and “we’re going in” while standing in a crowd outside Capitol doors. A few seconds later during the video, he is heard saying “move, move, move,” and “we’re in,” as the crowd enters through the doors of the Capitol.
“I think every American has the right to protest, but I think every American doesn’t have the right to go inside a federal building, that’s being restricted,” Maynard told WSAZ. “But in the case of Derrick, those doors were wide open, he simply walked through.”
“I hope that whatever happens, whatever judge he goes in front of, just please have mercy,” Williamson said.
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