A San Clemente woman has accepted a plea deal admitting to her role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Lois Lynn McNicoll, a Los Angeles County employee at the time of her arrest, during a remote hearing on Monday in a Washington, D.C. courtroom pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol, federal court records show.
According to her written plea deal, McNicoll faces up to six months behind bars and five years of probation. Three other criminal counts she was facing — including disruptive conduct in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building — were dismissed, court records show.
McNicoll admitted to entering a restricted building during the violent Jan. 6, 2020, breach of the Capitol that disrupted a session of Congress and delayed the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
McNicoll, a Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services employee, flew from California to Washington to hear then-President Donald Trump speak and to show her support for him.
Following Trump’s speech, McNicoll joined a mob of Trump supporters who marched to the Capitol building.
According to her statement of offense filed with the court, McNicoll walked through the Senate Wing Door into the Capitol building, stopped to talk with other people, recorded videos of her surroundings and then walked into the Capitol Crypt. She acknowledged remaining in the Capitol for about half an hour before being told to leave by police officers and exiting through the Memorial Door.
There was no indication from the plea deal or statement of offense that McNicoll took part in any violence toward officers or destruction of property.
A fellow county employee apparently recognized McNicoll — who was wearing a white hat emblazoned with the name “Trump” — in TV news footage of the Capitol insurrection and notified law enforcement. Federal investigators identified McNicoll in closed-circuit TV footage from the Capitol, which showed her with a red-and-white flag bearing the words “Trump Country” draped over her shoulders.
During an interview with an FBI agent, McNicoll acknowledged marching with a large group the the Capitol building and entering doors that had already been forced open, according to previous prosecution filings.
According to Department of Justice statistics, more than 800 people nationwide have been arrested in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection. That includes two-dozen-plus defendants with ties to Southern California.
More than 275 defendants nationwide have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the Capitol breach. The bulk of them, including McNicoll, admitted to misdemeanor counts that amount to trespassing in the Capitol or adjacent restricted grounds.
McNicoll is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Aug. 3.
Source: Orange County Register