An accused Jan. 6 Capitol rioter claimed his quotes on taking the Capitol were taken out of context, saying Sunday he got caught up in a mob mentality before the riot.
Ronald Sandlin, 34, was arrested by the FBI in Las Vegas on Jan. 29 for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. One piece of evidence prosecutors have filed is footage of him seemingly talking with two others on Jan. 6 about how "it's time to take the Capitol" and “freedom is paid for with blood," according to KLAS.
“It was a political rally,” Sandlin told the outlet. “There’s going to be political hyperbole, you know, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ We got caught up in the moment. We got caught up in a mob mentality.”
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Sandlin wrote on social media in January he was attending former President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally to "stand behind Trump when he decides to cross the rubicon." There is no record of Sandlin voting in the 2020 election, though he claims he mailed in a ballot, the outlet reported.
In addition to the footage of Sandlin encouraging the Capitol riot, his prosecutors have also provided evidence of him allegedly carrying a knife with him during the Capitol riot, as well as smoking marijuana inside the building. He also reportedly tried to take a camera with him into the building, with the intent to sell the footage, according to the outlet.
Sandlin faces a dozen charges connected to Jan. 6, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding, and aiding and abetting. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.
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Sandlin set up a fundraiser to use to pay for his legal fees in his trial. The fundraiser's goal is at $150,000, with $7,250 donated so far.