The first six people to face trial over protests during President Trump’s inauguration that turned violent have been acquitted of all charges, according to The Washington Post.
The Post on Thursday reported that a Washington, D.C. Superior Court jury delivered not guilty verdicts to the group that day on multiple charges of rioting and destruction of property.
The group acquitted Thursday includes Michelle Macchio, 26, of Naples Florida, Jennifer Armento, 38, of Philadelphia and Christina Simmons, 20, of Cockeysville, Maryland.
Alexei Wood, 37, of San Antonio, Oliver Harris, 28, of Philadelphia and Brittne Lawson, 27, of Pittsburgh, were also found not guilty of all charges.
Thursday’s outcome followed a nearly four-week trial over the matter, which began Jan. 20 as Trump was celebrating the inauguration that would result in him becoming president.
Prosecutors said the six defendants were among a group that cut a destructive path through 16 blocks of D.C. during the event.
The collective smashed businesses’ windows, tossed newspaper boxes into city streets and tarnished a limousine, with authorities totaling the final damages at more than $100,000.
Defense attorneys countered that their six clients were instead part of roughly 500 people who peacefully protested that day, while only a select few turned belligerent.
The defense also argued that D.C. police unfairly gathered about 200 people during the fracas and charged them with rioting.
Judge Lynn Leibovitz threw out the most serious rioting charge against the six – one felony count of inciting a riot apiece – before the case was presented to the jury.
The judge noted that there was not enough serious evidence against the group to prove they urged others to riot and destroy property.
Leibovitz did, however, allow the seven remaining charges of rioting and destruction of property to remain.
A total of 212 people were charged in connection with the Inauguration Day riots, with 20 of them having since pleaded guilty and prosecutors dropping the charges against 20 more.
The remaining 166 defendants are scheduled for trial, in clusters of six or seven defendants, through the middle of next year.