Washington, D.C. (FOX 44) — U.S. Capitol riot suspect and Bruceville-Eddy business owner Chris Grider initially turned down a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorneys office Tuesday during a teleconference hearing.
Grider is facing a total of nine criminal charges connected to the riot on January 6th, 2020. Pictures show him in the U.S. Capitol, just feet away from Ashli Babbitt.
In video footage, agents spotted Grider handing someone a hard helmet which was used to strike a glass door, shattering it. Babbitt later tried to enter a restricted area through the broken glass and U.S. Capitol police shot and killed her.
In the original affidavit, there are several pictures of Grider wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.
The U.S. District Attorney says the plea deal would require Grider to plead guilty to a charge of Civil Disorder and Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting charge. The recommended sentence for those charges combined would be roughly five years.
According to Grider’s attorney, Brent Mayr, Grider is willing to accept responsibility for his actions that day, but balked at taking the agreement because of fears that he would not be able to appeal later down the road.
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly told both parties that all of the U.S. District Courts have recommended including language in plea deals that allow a defendant to appeal in certain circumstances.
The prosecutor told the judge that while the language is in the plea deal, he is unsure if the interpretation would apply to Grider’s case. All sides agreed to meet again on September 15th after investigating the matter.
Grider is the owner of the Kissing Tree Vineyards in Bruceville-Eddy, and says he did not go to Washington, D.C. to cause trouble.