HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – After 18 months of silence, former West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans is sharing his story of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021.

“I really just went there to exercise my freedom of speech [and] support President Trump,” Evans said. “Obviously, I feel like the election was stolen.”

Evans was among hundreds of people charged with storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.

“From what I saw on my side of the building, it was a modern-day Boston Tea Party. That’s what it was,” Evans said. “There was no violence or destruction on my side of the building.”

Evans live-streamed the events on Facebook that day and later pleaded guilty to a felony charge. 

Now, he will serve 3 months in prison, but he said he doesn’t regret his actions.

“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have went inside the building, but as far as standing up for what I believe in and exercising my God-given, Constitutional rights of freedom of speech, I’m never going to regret that, ever,” he said. 

What he does regret is letting down his family.

“I’ve put myself in a position where I’m not going to be with my kids for three months and that’s hard,” he said. “That’s tough to swallow and look in the mirror and it’s your fault for doing that.”

He said he doesn’t know where or when he’ll be serving his sentence, but he hopes it’s close to home.

“It’s kind of like purgatory right now waiting to find out, you know, and it’s hard to make plans for anything.”

As for the future, politics aren’t out of the question.

“I got a three-month prison sentence. I’m going to pray about it a lot during that time and then we’ll go from there,” Evans said. “But, absolutely I’m still going to be involved in some way or another. I’ll probably be on the ballot at some point whether that’s 2024, 2026, or what office, I don’t know at this point.”

What Evans does know is that he’ll be spending the time he has left with his family, and every day moving forward, he’ll have to live with the consequences of Jan. 6.

“What happened on that day is unfortunately always going to be with me,” Evans says. “I’m not going to be able to shake that, especially being so public, but it is going to be a part of who I am moving forward and there’s nothing I can do about that.”