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Ahead of sentencing for Jan. 6 riot, Couy Griffin says he only intended to pray at U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In one week, a federal judge will sentence Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin for his role in the deadly riot at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

"I could face a year in federal prison for walking down to the capitol with one mission and one mission only: to go pray with people," Griffin told ABC-7 on Friday. "That’s exactly what I did. I had no intention of even walking down to the Capitol on that morning."

In March, a judge convicted Griffin on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing. He was acquitted on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly and disruptive conduct.

“I want everybody to know you know that I did nothing violent on that day," Griffin said. "I did nothing disruptive. I did nothing disorderly."

According to CNN, the U.S. Department of Justice charged 800 people in connection with the riot, with almost one-third of that group pleading guilty.

"The defendant's conduct on Jan. 6... took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm law enforcement, breach the Capitol and disrupt the proceedings," reads a sentencing document.

Facing up to one year in federal prison, the Otero County Commission said he does not plan on seeking re-election.

"It's just been a rollercoaster all year," Griffin said.

If he were able to go back in time, ABC-7 asked if Griffin would repeat his actions at the U.S. Capitol.

“Yes, I would be there," Griffin said. "I would be there because if there were violent acts going on, that would need if there was much more need for prayer. That’s why I went to the Capitol on that day, was to pray with people.”

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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Jason McNabb

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist & GMEP Weekends co-anchor


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