Utah man pleads guilty to a misdemeanor for participation in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot

Willard Peart is one of seven Utahns charged in connection to the riots in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

(Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice) Willard Peart's cellphone contained photographs of Peart while he was outside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the FBI says. The Utah man plead guilty to a misdemeanor in his alleged participation in the storming of the Capitol.

A Utah man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor on Tuesday for his participation in the U.S. Capitol riot last year.

According to court documents, Willard Peart waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing on Capitol grounds. Peart is one of seven Utahns charged with crimes in relation to the Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021. He is the second to plead guilty so far.

In a recorded interview with the FBI on Jan. 20, 2021, Peart told investigators that he traveled to Washington, D.C., from Utah to attend a rally for former President Donald Trump. Court documents state that Peart did not “initially intend” to go inside the Capitol building, but did so when he saw other rioters entering the building.

While inside, he joined other rioters in “chanting and calling out politicians,” and also took a photograph that he later posted on Facebook. Documents state Peart did not participate in any destruction inside the Capitol.

An investigator stated they identified Peart based on the Facebook picture, along with video surveillance footage from the Capitol and a photo from the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. His sentencing is scheduled for April 5.

In October, Sandy resident Jacob K. Wiedrich also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of picketing, parading or demonstrating in the Capitol. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 19.