January 6 Defendant Matthew Martin Found Not Guilty on All Charges

A federal judge on Wednesday cleared a New Mexico man of multiple misdemeanor counts related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Matthew Martin of Santa Fe is the first person charged in connection with events on January 6 who has been acquitted on all charges.

AP reports U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden issued the verdict from the bench after hearing testimony without a jury.

The outlet said McFadden allowed it was reasonable for Martin to believe outnumbered police officers allowed him and others to enter the Capitol through the Rotunda doors on the day.

The judge also said the defendant’s actions were “about as minimal and non-serious” as anyone who was at the Capitol that day.

Martin, whose bench trial started Tuesday, testified a police officer waved him into the building after the riot erupted. A prosecutor dismissed that testimony as “nonsense.”

The judge, however, disagreed. He said video shows two police officers standing near the Rotunda doors and allowing people to enter as Martin approached. One of the officers appeared to lean back before Martin placed a hand on the officer’s shoulder as a possible sign of gratitude, the judge said.

McFadden described Martin’s testimony as “largely credible.” The judge said it was not unreasonable for him to believe that officers allowed him to enter the Capitol, even though alarms were blaring and broken glass was strewn about the floor, according to AP.

Martin, federal defense contractor, held a security clearance and took personal leave from his job on Jan. 6.

He was arrested in April 2021 and 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, NBC reports.

File/Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump roam under the Capitol Rotunda after invading the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Martin is the third Capitol riot defendant whose case has been resolved by a trial.

He is the first of the three to be acquitted of all charges that he faced. The first two Capitol riot trials ended with convictions, although McFadden acquitted one of those defendants of a disorderly conduct charge after a bench trial last month.

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