Catawba County man charged in Capitol attack says he ‘got caught up in the moment’

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A Catawba County man has pleaded guilty for his involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January, according to court documents.

Channel 9 learned James Little was arrested by the FBI in March at his home in Claremont. He pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday.

According to court documents, a relative of Little called the FBI’s tip line to give information about his involvement in the attack on Jan. 6.

The relative reportedly told investigators that on the day of the attack, the two were texting about something unrelated when Little sent a text at 3:20 p.m. saying “We just took over the Capital.”

The court documents said at 3:36 p.m., Little sent a second text that read, “We are stopping treason! Stealing elections is treason! We’re not going to take it anymore!”

(Screenshots of the text message exchange that was included in the court documents below)

One week after the attack, the FBI interviewed Little at his home, court documents stated.

During the interview, Little confirmed he went to the protest and said he went inside the Capitol because he “got caught up in the moment” after police began using tear gas, according to court documents.

While inside the building, court documents said Little told investigators that he walked around the Capitol, smiling and fist bumping other people. He also stated that he walked around the Senate Chamber and took pictures of himself there. He said he then sent the pictures to people that he trusted.

According to court documents, Little said that he must have gotten caught up in the moment when he sent the text about taking over the Capitol.

Little returned to North Carolina the evening of the attack, court documents state.

Court documents said the FBI was able to search an agency database of pictures and videos of people near, and inside of, the Capitol on the day of the attack. The search of the database returned possible photos of Little, which his relative confirmed were him.

Court documents also stated that Little’s cellphone pinged a cell tower that serviced the area that includes the inside of the Capitol building around the time of the attack on Jan. 6.

Little is facing the following charges:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
  • Disorderly conduct in restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds
  • Parading or demonstrating in Capitol building

Little is expected to be sentenced in February. He faces up to six months in prison and could be fined up to $5,000.

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