WASHINGTON — A Gaston County, North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to assaulting police during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
23-year-old Grayson Sherrill of Cherryville entered his plea on Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington. He will face sentencing on May 1, 2023.
The Department of Justice said Sherrill and others were able to get past downed barricades and fences to the West front of the building. As other rioters were seen getting combative with police, Sherrill and a co-defendant used metal poles picked up from the broken barricades while confronting officers. Sherrill himself swung at one officer.
Sherrill still had the pole on him as he walked around inside the Capitol Building. He also climbed on statues with other rioters and took photos. He left about 30 minutes after he entered.
Sherrill sent the photos of himself at the riot to his father, who then sent the photo to other family members. Two members made contact with the FBI, and Sherrill faced a handful of charges when he was arrested in March 2021. The Department of Justice notes Sherrill deleted videos from his phone that he had taken while at the riot.
The maximum sentence he faces is eight years, along with potential financial penalties.
More than 950 people have been arrested across the country in the two years since the riot, which was spurred by widely-debunked claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged to favor Joe Biden over former president Donald Trump. The riot disrupted the certification of the electoral count.