Plea Hearing Set For Ex-Wva Councilman In Capitol Riot

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A plea agreement hearing is set next month for a former councilman for the city of Parkersburg, West Virginia, who is charged with breaching the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.

The hearing for Eric Barber is scheduled for Oct. 14 in federal court in Washington, D.C., according to court documents. He remains free on personal recognizance.

Barber is charged with theft, disorderly conduct, entering and remaining in a restricted area or grounds, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

A criminal complaint alleges photos and security video show Barber inside the Capitol wearing a green combat-style helmet and a green military-style field jacket. It said video reviewed by law enforcement recorded Barber saying, “They’re giving us the building,” and that he took selfie images in the Capitol Rotunda. It also claims he stole a portable power station from a C-SPAN media stand.

Barber was elected to the Parkersburg City Council in 2016 as a Democrat. He changed his registration to independent a year later, then changed it again to Republican before losing his re-election bid last November.

His previous criminal history included convictions for breaking and entering, petit larceny, controlled substances, drunken driving and fleeing arrest. Later, as a council member, his driver’s license was revoked on a marijuana charge. Barber pleaded guilty in a separate incident to disorderly conduct for ignoring police orders to stop taking photos and video near his Parkersburg home of someone being treated during a medical emergency.

Other suspects from West Virginia who were charged in the riot include Morgantown sandwich shop owner George Tanios. He awaits trial in the assault of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after defending the Capitol. A federal appeals court in August ruled that Tanios can be released on bond while he awaits trial.

Republican West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans resigned his seat in early January after he was charged with entering the Capitol. He faces a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding and aiding or abetting along with several misdemeanors. Prosecutors said Evans livestreamed himself rushing into the U.S. Capitol with a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6.

Gracyn Dawn Courtright of Hurricane faces up to six months in prison when she's sentenced on Nov. 16 of her misdemeanor guilty plea to knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Prosecutors said Courtright was seen taking a “Members Only” sign near the Senate chambers after entering the Capitol.