Virginia

The trial of a Virginia man accused of pepper spraying police during the Capitol riot begins

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – The jury trial of a Virginia man accused of using pepper spray against police during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot has begun.

Documents presented to federal court show video of Fincastle’s Markus Maly appearing to spray pepper spray at a “row of officers” attempting to secure the lower West Terrace of the US Capitol. Prosecutors allege Maly also hooked up with two other people that day. These two men are in court with Maly.

“They coordinated their attack and all went home bragging about it,” a US Department of Justice prosecutor said Tuesday in the jury’s opening statement.

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Prosecutors said Maly was also caught on video in a tunnel area of ​​the US Capitol, where she appeared to be holding a protective shield.

According to the documents, Maly wrote his girlfriend a message in response to her concerns about the violence in the Capitol. In those messages, he reportedly wrote, “I know…but I have stories” and “I was so funny…”, “It…”. Social media talk: “I held my ground and even went back for seconds and thirds.”

After Tuesday’s opening statements, prosecutors called Capitol Police officers to testify on the witness stand.

Maly’s attorney, Benjamin Schiffelbein, told the jury, “Markus Maly is not guilty.” He argues Maly did not come to the Capitol that day with a plan to disrupt Congress. Instead, he said Maly took a bus from Roanoke armed only with ham sandwiches. He added that it was President Trump who told protesters that day to go to the Capitol and that Maly followed the crowd. As for the pepper spray, Maly’s attorney argues that Maly did not know what was in the canister and that he did not spray the officers. He said Maly also gave police the protective shield he is pictured on later that day.

Investigations into the Jan. 6 US Capitol riot led to the arrests of more than 725 people in nearly all 50 states. More than 225 of those individuals were charged with assault or obstructing law enforcement.

The January 6, 2021 violation of the US Capitol forced Congress to evacuate on the day when lawmakers are scheduled to count Electoral College ballots and confirm Joe Biden’s election victory as the next president. Lawmakers returned that night to complete certification after the complex was secured by the DC Metropolitan Police, National Guard and US Capitol Police.

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