Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, pleaded guilty Friday to two charges related to last year's armed confrontation at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington, D.C. Welch says he was "self-investigating" false Internet rumors of a pedophile ring at the pizzeria.
It was just a few days earlier, on December 1, that Welch had learned of the conspiracy theory that had come to be known as "Pizzagate", which involved the unfounded rumors of pedophilia supposedly perpetrated by Hillary and Bill Clinton, as well as others in the Democratic Party.
Edgar Welch appeared in federal court and pleaded guilty to a federal charge of transporting a firearm and ammunition, as well as a charge of assault with a risky weapon. Welch gave himself up to police after he did not find any evidence that the online theories were true. After trying to force the closet open with a butter knife, Welch popped a few rounds off from his rifle, which damaged the lock, the door, some drywall and a computer inside the closet, which was unoccupied.
Each count Welch is charged with carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, but nonbinding guidelines likely will call for a federal sentence of just 18 to 24 months and a local sentence of 18 to 60 months, which could run consecutively, according to the Post.
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Clayton was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, but the mother of one, succumbed to her injuries at 7:40 a.m. Ayala said in a statement that she would abide by the governor's choice and decline her right to appeal it.
The defendant was motivated, at least in part, by unfounded rumors concerning a child sex-trafficking ring that was being perpetrated by high-profile individuals at Comet.
Police citing text and calling records, said Welch anticipated his investigation could turn violent and attempted to recruit help, according the Post. "Standing up against a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard".
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson set the sentencing date for June 22, after a local charge was dropped against Welch accusing him of firearms possession during a crime of violence. He will remain detained until then.