WASHINGTON — The man who opened fire inside a crowded D.C. pizza restaurant with an assault rifle is expected to enter a plea Friday morning in federal court.
On Dec. 4, 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch drove from North Carolina to Comet Ping Pong, on Connecticut Avenue, to investigate internet rumors that the restaurant was a front for a child sex ring. The FBI has determined the rumors were groundless.
Welch is charged with the federal count of Interstate Transportation of a Firearm and Ammunition, and two D.C. charges: Assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.
In January, prosecutors told U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson that a plea agreement had been offered to Welch.
It is not clear to which crime or crimes Welch will plead guilty, or what the sentencing recommendations reached are in the agreement.
Welch faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison for the federal firearms and D.C. assault charge, and a maximum of 15 years in prison on the D.C. gun charge.
Welch caused a panic in the restaurant when he walked in, with an AR-15 across his chest, holding a .38-caliber revolver.
Prosecutors say Welch fired up to three times inside the restaurant, and pointed the rifle at an employee after others had fled.
After his arrest, Welch told The New York Times he “wanted to do some good, and went about it the wrong way,” in self-investigating what authorities say is a false internet story that claimed a child sex ring was being run in the basement of the restaurant.
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