Upstate couple pleads guilty to Jan. 6 Capitol riot charges

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A married couple from the Upstate pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor offense for their participation in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

William and Joei Gallman, of Fountain Inn, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in a Washington courtroom to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum of six months in prison and a fine of not more than $5,000, according to court records.

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson took their plea and set sentencing for Aug. 18.

So far, 17 South Carolinians, many turned in by tipsters, have pleaded guilty to crimes committed during the riot. In all, 20 from the state have been arrested.

Evidence against the defendants has included photographs and geolocation data from their own cellphones and video surveillance from Capitol security cameras.

Charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct in Capitol building were dropped against the Gallmans, who cooperated with law enforcement, according to court records.

The Gallmans were supporters of former President Donald Trump, and attended his rally just before the Capitol riot, where Trump made false claims of a stolen election and urged rally goers to storm Congress and interrupt the formal counting of electoral votes, according to a prosecutors’ statement of the case made public Tuesday.

Photographs taken during the riot showed the Gallmans wearing pro-Trump hats.

After seeing rioters “physically battling police amid clouds of tear gas,” the Gallmans entered the Capitol at about 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, about 20 minutes after the first rioters began smashing windows and forcing their way in, according to prosecutors.

While the Gallmans were walking through the Capitol, they “saw broken windows, saw multiple uniformed and armed police, posed for photographs and took photographs of other rioters,” according to prosecutors.

The Capitol was closed to the public that day while the House and Senate certified counting electoral votes, declaring President Joe Biden the 2020 election winner.

More than 1,020 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia for offenses committed during the Capitol riot. The investigation, headed by the FBI, is still continuing. More than 530 individuals have pleaded guilty, and 67 have been found guilty of various charges at trial, according to the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s office.

William Gallman was represented by attorney Ryan Beasley, and Joei Gallman was represented by Cindy Crick.