Former Sheriff’s Deputy on Trial for Capitol Assault
The Trial Begins
A former sheriff’s deputy and Donald Trump supporter, Ronald Colton McAbee, is facing a jury trial starting Tuesday. McAbee pleaded guilty last month to assaulting an officer at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. However, he claims he was actually trying to help another officer.
The Guilty Plea
McAbee, who was on medical leave from his law enforcement job during the attack, admitted to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer, as well as a misdemeanor charge of an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds. He acknowledged swinging his arms and making contact with an officer while wearing reinforced gloves.
McAbee is also on trial for assaulting a different law enforcement official, Officer Andrew Wayle of the Washington Metropolitan Police. McAbee was on top of Wayle as he slid down the stairs by the lower west tunnel, where some of the most violent clashes occurred.
The Infamous #ThreePercentSheriff
Online, McAbee was known as #ThreePercentSheriff among “Sedition Hunters” due to the patches he wore on his protective vest, representing both a sheriff’s office and the III% movement. The III% movement is a far-right, anti-government group that believes only 3% of colonists rebelled against the British during the American Revolution.
The Unusual Journey
Despite being on medical leave due to a shoulder injury from a car accident, McAbee decided to travel to Washington for the events of January 6. He expressed his intent to an associate, stating, “Let’s link up and go. I’ll slap a commie with this dead arm.” When his friend expressed concern about the potential dangers, McAbee emphasized their shared commitment, saying, “I will rise or fall alongside you. This is for future generations.”
A Belief in Conspiracy Theories
Testifying on the stand, McAbee revealed that he consumed conservative media, such as Fox News and Newsmax, and listened to Mark Levin’s radio show, all of which reinforced conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election. He felt compelled to attend the rally in Washington, hoping it would be his last chance to see President Trump.
Reflection and Regret
McAbee expressed shame and embarrassment for his actions during the Capitol assault, acknowledging that his conduct was not in line with his character. He referred to his pre-attack language as “locker room talk” and bravado, drawing a comparison to Trump’s controversial statements from 2016.
An Alleged Attempt to Help
Despite the charges against him, McAbee claimed he was trying to help Officer Wayle during the incident and had no intention of causing harm. He accompanied Wayle back to the police line and even tried to save the life of a rioter who was declared dead shortly after.
After the attack, McAbee took a photo with a newspaper headline reading “INSURRECTION” and sent messages boasting about his actions. He spoke of shedding blood for his country and expressed a commitment to protecting the America he once knew.
The Defense’s Argument
McAbee’s attorney informed jurors that his client admitted to assaulting an officer during the scuffle. However, the defense argued that McAbee did not intend to assault Officer Wayle. While acknowledging McAbee’s anger, the defense stressed that it did not blind him to the extent of his actions.
Read More of this Story at www.nbcnews.com – 2023-10-10 11:00:00
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