The people accused of standing and yelling alongside a Trump supporter shot and killed by Capitol Police during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot are facing federal criminal charges and possible prison time, and their accounts of what happened are part of the criminal cases against them.
Zachary Alam is one of the people next to Ashli Babbitt that day. He’s accused of smashing the glass window at the House Speaker’s lobby moments before Babbitt was shot.
Federal authorities allege chants of “Break it down” were heard moments before the shooting, according to court filings.
Alam pleaded not guilty to assault but is locked up in the D.C. jail until trial. He’s arguing for the right to be his own lawyer and has had outbursts in court.
Meanwhile, a plea agreement is expected next week in the case of David Mish, who is accused of unlawfully being on Capitol grounds. According to court filings in his case, Mish says he heard Babbitt telling police, “Just open the door. They’re not gonna stop.”
Another defendant who was accused of being near Babbitt Jan. 6, Jonathan Sanders of Indiana, pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor. He’ll be sentenced in November and faces a maximum of six months in jail.
So far, 580 federal defendants have been charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Ten percent of those cases have reached plea deals. One percent have gone to sentencing. Trials aren’t likely until next year due to court backlogs.
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More arrests are coming. According to new court filings, the feds say they have video showing at least 1,000 different assaults on police that day.
The Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Babbitt was cleared months ago of criminal wrongdoing and was cleared internally by the department this week. He planned to reveal his identity in an NBC interview to air Thursday.