Man charged in Jan. 6 assault of officer who died pleads guilty to misdemeanors

(WASHINGTON) — A West Virginia man charged in the Jan. 6 assault of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick pleaded guilty Wednesday to two misdemeanor charges.

George Tanios was arrested two months after the Jan. 6 attack, along with Julian Khater, who investigators identified in videos as having deployed bear spray against three officers outside of the Capitol, including Sicknick.

Sicknick died the day after the riot of natural causes after suffering at least two strokes, according to the Washington, D.C., medical examiner’s office.

Tanios pleaded guilty Wednesday to entering and remaining on restricted grounds, and disorderly and disruptive conduct on restricted grounds.

Khater has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges stemming from the alleged assault, and is set to go on trial in October.

Prosecutors said in Wednesday’s hearing they have also extended a plea offer to Khater and they continue to negotiate with his counsel, but they warned that the offer will expire by Aug. 17.

Khater could face between 78 and 97 months behind bars as part of his sentence if he were to accept the plea deal of two counts of felony assaults on officers, prosecutors said.

That amount would be more than a year longer than the two harshest sentences given to any Capitol rioters thus far.

As part of his plea deal with prosecutors, Tanios faces a potential range of 0-6 months behind bars, though he has already served five months in pre-trial detention following his arrest, for which he would receive credit.

In their original affidavit against Khater and Tanios, investigators cited open source videos that they said showed Khater at one point telling Tanios “Give me that bear s—” before reaching into a backpack Tanios was wearing.

Tanios then responded, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet … it’s still early.”

“This verbal exchange between Khater and Tanios, together with Khater’s retrieval of the spray can from Tanios, reveals that the two were working in concert and had a plan to use the toxic spray against law enforcement,” the charging documents said.

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