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Utah man pleads guilty to felony charge related to Capitol riots

Posted at 4:00 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 19:39:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utahn who became one of the faces of the Capitol riots pleaded guilty Thursday.

Landon Copeland admitted to a felony count of assaulting resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon in Thursday's hearing and faces up to eight years in prison.

The judge said guidelines would likely recommend a sentence of 41 to 51 months for his involvement.

Copeland became a symbol of what happened on January 6, 2021, when news photographers captured images of him wrestling with police over a crowd control fence.

He spoke to FOX 13 News a few months after the riot and reflected on his involvement in the riots.

“I do believe that the jury, whenever they stand there, they will see me as nothing more than a soldier trying to defend his people from the people who were attacking them," Copeland said.

He told FOX 13 News last year that a police officer was hitting him in the legs with a baton, so he took his baton from the officer.

Landon's brother, Brenden Copeland, spoke to FOX 13 News and said he doesn't believe his brother committed a crime.

"This is the worst miscarriage of justice in the history of the United States,” Brenden Copeland said in part. “He was assaulted. Then he reacted exactly the same way I would expect anybody to react.”

Landon Copeland has been in the Hurricane, Utah jail for a year and that time will be credited toward his sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for September 9.