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capitol riot aftermath

Ex-federal defense contractor is 1st Capitol riot defendant to be acquitted

A federal judge on Wednesday acquitted Matthew Martin, a New Mexico resident and former federal contractor facing misdemeanor charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

This is the first acquittal of a Capitol riot defendant.

Martin testified during his bench trial that police officers let him enter the Capitol building during the riot, and he was unaware of everything going on around him. Prosecutors played footage in court shot by Martin at the Capitol, showing broken windows and the wails of an alarm.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said it was "not unreasonable" for Martin to believe law enforcement officials were letting some demonstrators come inside, and ruled that prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Martin knew he was entering a restricted area. Martin faced charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building

After his arrest in April 2021, Martin lost his job as a contractor and the top-secret security clearance that came with it. Read more at NBC News.