A Maryland man who wore a “Proud Boys” hat while livestreaming himself storming the U.S. Capitol pleaded guilty Thursday to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Andrew Ryan Bennett, of Columbia, Maryland, appeared in court virtually for a plea hearing before U.S District Judge James Boasberg. After answering Boasberg’s questions about his competency, Bennett responded “yes” when asked if he wanted to plead guilty to one count in the case.
Bennett was arrested in January after federal investigators say they received multiple tips alerting them to four videos Bennett had livestreamed on his Facebook page. The videos appeared to show him wearing a baseball hat with a Proud Boys motto on it while joining in chants of “break it down” during the Capitol riot. Court documents indicate Bennett may have been streaming nearby when Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed during an attempt to breach the Speaker’s Lobby.
A search warrant was executed on Bennett's house on Jan. 11. The affidavit says that Bennett admitted to federal agents during an interview that he was inside the Capitol on Jan. 6 and even called it "wrong."
"During the execution of the search warrant, agents interviewed Bennett and he stated that he had traveled alone to Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, arriving around 6:00am and later entered into the U.S. Capitol building with a crowd," the affidavit said. "Bennett told agents that he knew it was wrong to do so."
Bennett’s plea deal means the government will drop the remaining three charges against him. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for October 1. He faces up to six months in prison and a $500 fine.
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