WASHINGTON, D.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Gaston County resident Grayson Sherrill entered a felony plea for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capital insurrection on Friday. 

He faces a four-year sentence in prison when he returns to court on May 1. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan allowed Sherrill to return to North Carolina based on his lack of a criminal record. His decision to agree to the terms of his release also factored into the decision.

Sherrill, a 23-year-old man from Cherryville, is the second Charlotte-area man to enter a plea in the proceedings. Belmont resident Jeremy Bertino pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in October. Bertino had connections to the Proud Boys, a right-wing group involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Video shows Sherrill swinging a metal pole at a police officer during the riot when he went to the rally with two friends. His friends, Elias Irizarry of Rock Hill and Elliott Bishai of Fort Mill, was initially charged with misdemeanors. 

Authorities arrested Sherrill three months later when his family relatives turned him into the FBI. At that point, federal officials charged him with nonviolent misdemeanors. 

Bishai pled guilty, with his punishment resulting in 14 days of imprisonment. Irizarry also admitted to his involvement with court officials in October and is waiting for his sentence. FBI investigators say the trio took photos after entering the capital for a short time. 

In December 2021, prosecutors upgraded charges against Sherrill to two felonies of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding a police officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon.

In January, federal prosecutors dropped the civil disorder charge. On Friday, Chutkan told Sherrill that the police-assault conviction could result in an eight-year prison term and a $250,000 fine. Federal officials want a range between two and four years.

U.S. Department of Justice officials says tips led to more than 950 arrests for the U.S. Capital breach with 284 charged with assault or impeding law enforcement.