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Former WVa councilman enters plea in Capitol riot case

December 17, 2021 GMT

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A former councilman for the city of Parkersburg, West Virginia, who is charged with breaching the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts.

Eric Barber, 43, admitted to entering the Capitol and stealing a portable charger from a C-SPAN media station during a remote hearing Thursday, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.

“When I entered the Capitol building, I knew we weren’t supposed to be there,” he said after the judge asked if the charges were accurate.

The criminal complaint alleged photos and security video showed Barber inside the Capitol wearing a green combat-style helmet and a green military-style field jacket. It said video recorded Barber saying, “They’re giving us the building,” and that he took selfie images in the Capitol Rotunda. It also claims he stole a portable power station from a C-SPAN media stand.

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Barber was elected to the Parkersburg City Council in 2016 as a Democrat. He changed his registration to independent a year later, then changed it again to Republican before losing his re-election bid last November.

As part of the plea agreement, other misdemeanor counts will be dismissed. Barber’s sentencing was set for March 31.