(TargetLiberty.org) – A judge has issued the first outright acquittal of a protester involved in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The defendant in the case was a federal contractor who was caught on video inside of the capitol building on the day of the riot. But a judge didn’t think that alone was enough to send the man to jail.
On April 6, US District Judge Trevor N. McFadden found New Mexico resident Matthew Martin not guilty after a two-day bench trial for a misdemeanor charge. The defendant, who held a top-secret security clearance, took a leave of absence from his job so he could travel to Washington, DC, for the “Stop the Steal” rally. While there, he entered the Capitol Rotunda after protesters busted through a police line.
McFadden ruled that although Martin entered the building, he didn’t believe the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant knew he’d entered a restricted area. The DOJ didn’t show evidence Martin crossed police lines knowingly. The judge did say it was “more likely than not” he knew but it wasn’t enough to convict.
After his acquittal, Martin said he hopes to get his job back.
Matthew Martin and his lawyer speak outside the courthouse after his acquittal. Martin wants his job back. pic.twitter.com/QwYD7RhOMs
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 6, 2022
More than 200 people involved in the riots have pleaded guilty to charges, while hundreds of more still need to be prosecuted.
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