An amateur St. Louis Cardinals mascot who became the subject of a conspiracy theory related to the Jan. 6 riot pleaded guilty Friday to a charge stemming from his actions during the 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Rally Runner, formerly known as Daniel Donnelly Jr., pleaded guilty to one count of civil disorder, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release.

His sentencing is scheduled for July 30.

In a statement Friday, Runner’s attorney Scott Rosenblum said that his client “wanted to accept responsibility and move on with the next chapter of his life.”

Runner was previously accused on national television of working on behalf of the government to provoke some of the actions on Jan. 6. A lawyer representing several Capitol riot defendants falsely claimed on Tucker Carlson’s former Fox News show in 2021 that Runner was “clearly a law enforcement officer“ and an “agent provocateur” who had disguised himself as a Trump fan to smear the former president’s supporters.

Daniel Donnelly Jr., aka Rally Runner, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Daniel Donnelly Jr., aka Rally Runner, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.FBI

Runner was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri, in August on five federal charges, including obstructing, impeding, and interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder. Prosecutors agreed to request the dismissal of the additional counts in the indictment during sentencing as part of his plea agreement, according to court documents.

Runner — a known St. Louis Cardinals fanatic who has jogged around the baseball stadium during home games to energize fans — donned red face paint and wore a red “Keep America Great” hat and a red jacket during the Capitol riot. He was among a group of rioters who sought to push their way into the Capitol building through the Lower West Terrace doorway, prosecutors said. Runner helped pass a ladder toward the tunnel’s opening, and wielded a riot shield to surge forward and push back officers who, after a 10-minute struggle, were able to resist Runner and other rioters’ advance, according to court documents.

“I get a riot shield. and I’m not trying to cause any violence, but I’m trying to be the furthest person to get through all the way, or at least get the furthest,” Runner said according to a transcript included in court documents of a 26-minute video he posted on Facebook detailing his actions on Jan. 6.

In the three years since the attack, roughly 500 defendants have been sentenced to periods of incarceration ranging from just a few days to 22 years in federal prison.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *