A San Clemente woman was sentenced this week to probation and community service for her role in breaching the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Lois Lynn McNicoll, 70, received two years probation and 80 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $500 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of marching, demonstrating or doing picketing at the Capitol.
Under the plea deal McNicoll accepted, she faced up to six months behind bars and five months probation. In exchange for his guilty plea, several other more serious criminal charges were dismissed, including disruptive conduct in a restricted-access building and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
McNicoll – who at the time worked in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Utilities but has since retired – flew from California to Washington to hear President Donald Trump speak and show her support. After his speech, McNicoll joined a group of Trump supporters who marched toward the Capitol building.
McNicoll admitted to walking through the door to the Senate wing in the Capitol building, where she stopped to talk to other people and record videos of her surroundings before continuing into the Capitol crypt. She admitted to spending about half an hour in the Capitol building before being told to leave by police officers.
There is no indication that McNicoll participated in any acts of violence or destruction of property.
Another county employee recognized McNicoll from television news footage and notified law enforcement. Federal investigators later identified her from closed-circuit television footage from the Capitol that showed her wearing a white hat emblazoned with the name “Trump” and a red and white flag draped over her shoulders bearing the words “Trump Country.”
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Federal prosecutors, in a sentencing brief, wrote that McNicoll’s conduct occurred during a larger and more violent one that disrupted a session of Congress and delayed certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory. Prosecutors wrote that McNicoll should have known she was not permitted to enter the Capitol building, noting that her previous job in Los Angeles County would have familiarized her with government buildings, required security measures to enter and the importance of restricted access to sensitive government areas and workspaces.
McNicoll’s attorney wrote in his own sentencing brief that McNicoll’s “conduct should place her in the least offensive and egregious category of the January 6 defendants.”
“Her participation in events on Capitol Hill was unplanned, she was entirely nonviolent, she made no political statements, and she made no social media posts,” wrote Deputy Federal Public Defender Lillian Chu. . “Mrs. McNicoll did not join any ‘crowd’, only walked in circles around the crypt and never ventured near the Senate or House floors or entered the offices. She left the Capitol when asked to do so by police and followed the curfew order when she heard there would be one.