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Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that McNicoll pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
By Shawn Raymundo
A woman who was facing multiple charges related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors this week in which she admits to entering the restricted grounds.
Lois Lynn McNicoll, who was arrested last June, pleaded guilty on Monday, May 23, to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building, according to the latest federal court filings.
The violation, the plea deal noted, carries a maximum prison sentence of six months and a five-year probation term, as well as a $5,000 fine.
With McNicoll agreeing to a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop three other criminal counts she was charged with, including entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building.
According to her Statement of Offense, McNicoll—who at the time of arrest was a Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services employee—traveled to Washington, D.C. to show former President Trump her support and listen to his speech at The Ellipse.
While Congress was meeting that day for a joint session to certify the results of the 2020 election, a march on the Capitol following Trump’s speech turned violent when rioters forced their way into the building, breaking windows and assaulting police officers.
McNicoll, in court records, acknowledged her participation in the breach, entering the west side of the Capitol, a restricted area of the Capitol grounds. She later entered the Capitol through the Senate Wing Door, which had earlier been broken into by rioters.
“McNicoll stood in the vicinity of the Senate Wing Door for a period, talking with unidentified people and recording videos, before walking south and into the Capitol Crypt,” according to the Statement of Offense that further noted she stayed in the Crypt for about 30 minutes, until police officers directed her to leave through the Memorial Door.
“Lois Lynn McNicoll knew at the time she entered the Capitol that she did not have permission to enter the building,” the court filing concluded. “While inside the Capitol, McNicoll paraded, demonstrated, or picketed.”
Authorities last year were tipped off to McNicoll’s participation in the breach by two witnesses. McNicoll had been identified, in a social media post, wearing a white hat adorned with the former President’s name, “TRUMP.”
The social media post, which originated from the news station ABC/7, also showed McNicoll wearing a white and gray jacket while a red and white flag was draped over her shoulders, the federal complaint noted.
Both witnesses, fellow DPSS employees, had separately submitted the same screenshot of the post to the FBI’s national tip line, and were each later interviewed by an agent, confirming McNicoll was captured in the image.
During a May 2021 interview with the FBI, McNicoll, as outlined in the complaint, said she marched with a large group to the Capitol and entered through doors that had already been forced open. She also claimed that “she was somewhat unaware of what was going on around her.”
McNicoll is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 3.
Shawn Raymundo is the managing editor for Picket Fence Media. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.