Tennessee man pleads guilty to minor protesting charge in U.S. Capitol riot case

Update: Bryan Wayne Ivey was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a total of $510 in restitution and assessment fees. His sentencing hearing was held March 30, 2022, by video conference before U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper in the District of Columbia.

A Tennessee man has pleaded guilty to a minor protesting charge related to the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Bryan Wayne Ivey admitted to knowingly entering restricted areas of the Capitol in a videoconference plea hearing Tuesday.

Ivey pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing inside Capitol grounds. On top of possible prison time, a fine or probation, Ivey agreed to pay $500 in restitution to the United States.

The 28-year-old Crossville man, born in Gallatin, was arrested March 4 in Tennessee on four charges related to the riot. The remaining charges were dropped Tuesday as part of his plea agreement.

More: 15 with Tennessee connections arrested in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot investigation

A tipster told the FBI they recognized Ivey in a still photo of a video posted to social media, court documents show. In the photo, Ivey appeared to be breaking a window at the Capitol with a riot shield.

If the case had gone to trial, prosecutors would have presented evidence that Ivey in fact watched another protester do the damage, Assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C. Leslie Goemaat said in court Tuesday.

"He joined a large crowd around the Capitol. After the police lined the streets, he approached and watched another rioter break a window at the Capitol using a riot shield. The defendant then entered the U.S. Capitol," she said.

Ivey's wife and brother also traveled to Washington, D.C., with him but did not enter the Capitol, according to statements made in his initial appearance before a judge in March.

A sentencing hearing has been set for Sept. 28 in front of Washington, D.C. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper. The charge carries possible sentences of up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 and/or probation for up to one year.

Ivey's attorney, Middle Tennessee public defender Robert David Baker, told the judge he planned to present mitigating factors related to the sentence at the September hearing.

The tipster told the FBI that a close contact of Ivey's said he told them he was in the building on Jan. 6.

In photos released by the U.S. Attorney's Office in March, Ivey was identified as a man wearing a brown hat, brown jacket and sunglasses in the image. The tipster said they also recognized Ivey's voice captured in video from the scene.

Ivey originally faced four charges:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority;

  • disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds;

  • disorderly conduct in a capitol building;

  • parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.

At least 15 people with Tennessee ties have been charged in connection to the riot. A massive investigation continues.

Ivey is the first defendant with Tennessee ties to plead guilty on related charges.

Reach reporter Mariah Timms at mtimms@tennessean.com or 615-259-8344 and on Twitter @MariahTimms.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Tennessee man pleads guilty to minor protesting charge in U.S. Capitol riot case