FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – As the January 6th Congressional hearings continue, a Central Valley man involved in the attack on the US Capitol has accepted a plea agreement.
The US Department of Justice said that self-proclaimed proud boy Ricky Willden of Oakhurst has accepted a plea agreement. Willden originally faced 8 charges but with the agreement only be sentenced for one.
January 6th, 2021 shook the entire country as rioters attacked the US Capitol.
Surveillance video and selfies of Activist Benjamin Martin from Madera, show him in a Keep America Great hat, being sprayed by officers, and then inside the Capitol.
39-year-old Ricky Willden of Oakhurst was also in the crowd. Legal documents said that he had a green canister and a cellphone with a case reading “I heart my proud boy”. Willden admitted to spraying the officers with a chemical irritant, throwing the canister at the officers, and then posting to Facebook “I hope you enjoyed my special prizes.”
The two were arrested months later. Martin is still awaiting a trial and in April 2022 Willden accepted a plea agreement.
Willden pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer. The other seven charges were dropped as long as Willden told investigators what happened that day.
“The advantage is maybe the defendant can give us some information that will help us lead to a conviction and a prosecution in another case so-called snitch agreement,” said Legal Analyst David Mugridge to explain how it benefits the federal government.
Willden’s Attorney wouldn’t go on camera but said their focus is the sentencing on August 5th.
“Our hope is to show the judge how Mr. Willden’s difficult life experiences led to his conduct on that day, and to obtain the most compassionate sentence we can,” – said Willden’s Attorney Griffin Estes.
Willden faces 24-30 months in federal prison, before the agreement he faced 8 years just for assaulting an officer. Martin’s next court hearing is also in July.