Tennessee man found guilty of felony charges related to Jan. 6 riot
WASHINGTON (WMC) - A Tennessee man was found guilty in the District of Columbia on Wednesday of five felony charges related to his conduct during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.
His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Ronald Colton McAbee, 29, of Unionville, Tennessee, was found guilty of all charges against him following a jury trial in U.S. District Court. McAbee was convicted of five felonies, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
On September 25, McAbee pleaded guilty to a separate felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer and a misdemeanor charge for an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds before U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras in the District of Columbia.
Judge Contreras will sentence McAbee on Feb. 29, 2024.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the U.S. Capitol building to assist the U.S. Capitol Police in maintaining the security of the Capitol from ongoing riots. At approximately 4:20 p.m., MPD officers made their way to an interior tunnel of the Capitol building. Here, they assumed a post in an Archway that provided access to the building’s Lower West Terrace.
As the officers arrived, hundreds of individuals gathered outside the Archway, some throwing and/or swinging various makeshift weapons at the group of officers. At about 4:27 p.m., an MPD officer positioned toward the opening of the Archway was knocked to the ground, kicked, and stripped of his baton. During this incident, McAbee was positioned on the south side of the Archway and was able to observe the assault.
After the officer was knocked to the ground, McAbee stepped into the Archway, grabbed the officer’s leg, and pulled him further toward the crowd. When a second MPD officer stepped off the police line to assist the downed officer, McAbee stood up, yelled at the officer who had stepped out to assist, and then swung his arms and hands towards the officer’s head and torso. McAbee made contact with the officer and was wearing reinforced knuckle gloves at the time of the assault.
McAbee then returned his attention to the downed officer and lifted him by the torso and shoulders. As a result, McAbee and the officer slid down a set of steps, with McAbee falling on top of the officer. The two landed in the crowd, where McAbee lay on top of the officer while other rioters assailed the officer for over 20 seconds before the officer was finally able to get up and work his way back to the Archway. The officer sustained physical injuries, including a head laceration, concussion, elbow injury, bruising, and bodily abrasions. The officer was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries.
McAbee was arrested on Aug. 17, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington, Memphis, and Knoxville Field Offices, which identified McAbee as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #134 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
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