More time granted for Comet Ping Pong plea deal

WASHINGTON — The man accused of walking into a D.C. pizza restaurant and opening fire with an assault rifle appeared before a judge again on Monday.

The brief court session centered on a plea deal offered to 28-year-old Edgar Welch of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Ketanji Jackson granted Welch’s attorneys more time to consider the deal, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for D.C.

Jackson gave the defense team until March 13 to decide on whether Welch plans to accept the deal, the details of which have not been made public.

Welch has pleaded not guilty to the several charges against him, including a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm with the intent to commit a crime as well as two local counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Welch is accused of going into the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Northwest D.C. on Dec. 4 and firing an AR-15-style rifle.

Prosecutors believe Welch came to the restaurant after reading a fake news story claiming there was a child sex ring inside the establishment.

Welch and his lawyers must present his decision in court on March 15.

Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera is an associate producer for WTOP News. He joined the radio news team in 2021 after previously working for WMAL News as a news assistant. He is a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

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