For Women Who Say Derrick Evans Harassed Them, West Virginia Lawmaker's Capitol Assault Arrest Is No Surprise
Before he filmed himself among the rioters who breached the Capitol, Derrick Evans would spend his time outside of a health clinic confronting women who he would shout at, shame and film under the presumption they were there to terminate a pregnancy.
Before he filmed himself among the rioters who breached the Capitol, one-time Republican Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates Derrick Evans would spend his time outside of a health clinic confronting women who he would shout at, shame and film under the presumption they were there to terminate a pregnancy. His conduct, which he allegedly carried out with a gun on his person and under the guise of the First Amendment, went on until he was ordered by a court to not contact one of the women who volunteers at the clinic.
Even when Evans was unable to picket the clinic, individuals with whom he had socialized and were believed to be part of the alleged hate group, the Oath Keepers, could be counted on to be there.
While many were shocked to read the news that a West Virginia lawmaker had filmed himself taking part in the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, those familiar with Evans told Inside Edition Digital that it came as no surprise to learn he had participated. In fact, they said, it appeared to be a natural progression of what began outside a women’s clinic in Charleston.
This article is based on a review of court documents, including personal safety orders issued against Evans and a City Council bill drafted in response to incidents outside the clinic, video footage of Evans outside of the clinic reviewed by Inside Edition Digital and interviews with six people who have had first-hand interactions with Evans. When reached by Inside Edition Digital, an attorney representing Evans in the Capitol assault case said that he did not represent him in regards to the allegations connected to the clinic, but said, “Given that he has pending charges in the District of Columbia at the moment, he can’t comment on anything until those charges are resolved.”
Attempts to reach Evans directly were unsuccessful.
Workers and Patients Say Derrick Evans’ Time Spent at Women’s Clinic Was Source of Frustration and Fear
Jamie Miller, 48, volunteers as a clinic escort at the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia. It is a nonprofit clinic in Charleston that offers a full range of gynecological care, including breast examinations, family planning services and depression screenings. Its services also include abortions. It’s because of this offering that Evans descended on the clinic to protest in 2019 and in doing so, set his sights on Miller, she told Inside Edition Digital.
Miller had her first run in with Evans on the first day she served as a patient escort that year. The role includes helping patients to the door of a clinic with as little harassment from protesters and picketers as possible, and while it is one that is often needed to be filled at clinics that provide abortions, the Women’s Health Center had not found a need for such a position to be filled in years. Officials at the clinic reintroduced the position there in 2019 after having not needed it for about two decades.
“Clinic work is hard work. You need a thick skin. It is not for the faint of heart,” Miller told Inside Edition Digital. “But he made everybody at the clinic, the staff, the patients, everyone’s lives so hard.”
For six months, Miller said, she endured Evans’ alleged harassment and intimidation.
“You are pathetic! You are a witch! You are a baby killer!” Miller said he would shout.
Evans was usually accompanied by other anti-abortion activists just as vocal and aggressive, she said. She and patients endured endless harassment as she tried to walk them to and from their cars and the clinic, she said. Almost as frequently, Miller recalled having baby dolls thrown at her.
“They tell you that was the baby you were killing. It was very radical,” she said. “They’d stand outside the gate, scream and yell and scream and yell and try and block access into the driveway.
“There were men who showed up with full-on rifles at the clinic because of Derrick Evans,” Miller continued. “He always had a gun on him. He never pulled it out, but he let you know he had it.”
Miller’s attorney, Sean Cook, also claimed Evans often intimated he had a gun, which his client took as a threat.
“Mr. Evans has indicated on videos posted to his Facebook account that he possesses a gun while at the Women’s Health Center. Mr. Evans stated in a television interview that even if his First Amendment rights were taken away, he still had his Second Amendment rights. It is not difficult to surmise the meaning of this statement,” Cook said in 2019.
And often, Evans appeared to be filming as he picketed the clinic.
“You don’t have to cover your face,” he said to one woman in video posted online, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported. “Everybody’s already -- 50,000 people’s already seen what you look like. It’s no big deal.”
Evans had a large social media presence and a following that included more than 40,000 people on his Facebook page before it disappeared after the assault on the Capitol Jan. 6. The circumstances behind its removal were not clear. But before its removal, Evans would livestream his time spent at the clinic.
“Evans had a tiny doll, he’d call it a fetus doll, and shout out, ’This is what you are doing. This is what you are killing!’” Miller said.
Miller said that many of the women she escorted to their vehicles were “absolutely” terrified by the behavior with which they were met.
“He has no idea what these women are going [to the clinic for]. It is a community access clinic. It is not just a clinic that does abortion services,” Miller said. “There are other services, too. I’ve had people break down in the middle of the parking lot in fear. Some bawling their eyes out.”
Stacy Kay, 50, told Inside Edition Digital she also suffered any time she went to the clinic because of Evans and others who picketed the building. A fellow patient escort and a patient herself, Kay said she has had three abortions, one of which was performed when she was a 19-year-old in college, and the other two were performed while she was with the same partner.
“I had three pregnancies and one child,” said Kay, who has a 21-year-old daughter. “That was a choice we made together in our family. I’m proud of it.”
When he was allowed outside of the clinic, Evans would sit in a lawn chair “screaming, shaming and filming,” Kay said.
“You can see it in his comments; people would say horrible things about Jamie and I,” she said.
The suffering extended well beyond Kay and Miller. Katie Quinonez, executive director of the Women’s Health Center, said she was often berated by Evans and the others. And residents who lived near the clinic complained of the noise the harassment would bring.
Rusty Williams, a Women’s Health Center board member and patient escort, told Inside Edition Digital that Evans would make it a point to drive the hour from his home in Wayne County to the Clinic in Charleston every Wednesday and Thursday and would "terrorize the patients." Public records confirm Evans lives about an hour and 10 minutes from the clinic.
“It didn’t matter what they were going in for. If it was a teenager going in to get birth control, they were all baby killers,” said Williams, who himself launched an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates. “This dude just spit out venom. I personally had friends who were patients at the health center that had PTSD anytime they had to go there because of the verbal abuse they suffered coming from Derrick and his ilk.”
Every week, Evans appeared to be leading more and more people, some of them visibly armed, in picketing the center, Kyle Vass, a freelance journalist who covers the area, told Inside Edition Digital. On one morning, Evans allegedly followed behind as a patient entered the facility and screamed at her "Would you like it if we tied you up to a vehicle and pulled you apart limb by limb? I bet you’d start standing up for life then, wouldn’t you?"
On another occasion, Evans yelled at a woman, who he presumed to be going into the clinic for an abortion, "You're still going to be a mother when you come out of there, just the mother to a dead baby." These interactions were filmed and put on Facebook. Despite having his videos reported by viewers, Facebook never took his videos down. The footage has since been taken down, but audio was preserved and obtained by Inside Edition Digital.
Occasionally, Charleston Police officers would respond to complaints about Evans, Vass said. They'd show up, ask him not to trespass and go on their way.
The so-called reign of terror felt as if it would never end. But Miller was determined to act.
Miller Takes Action to End Evans’ Alleged Harassment Against Her and by Extension, the Clinic
Miller has never been a shrinking violet, but she was especially inspired to never back down and stand by what she believes the day she saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify that then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in Bethesda, Maryland in 1982. It was then that Miller decided to never shrink away from the truth.
“I am a survivor. I had an abortion when I was between 16 and 17 years old. It was something I never talked about. I never told anyone,” Miller said. “When I saw Dr. Ford’s testimony that woke me up and that lit a fire. Dr. Ford had the strength to talk about it that encouraged me to do the same.”
She protested Kavanaugh’s confirmation at the Charleston office of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. She was one of nine women arrested at his office on Oct. 2, 2018, she told Inside Edition Digital. Photos documenting the arrests show Miller in handcuffs.
Kavanaugh denied Ford’s allegations and he ultimately was confirmed to the court. But the fire Miller said that was lit under her only grew. Miller told her four grown children about the abortion she had as a teen that terminated a pregnancy that was the result of an assault.
She works as an advocate for the ACLU and often speaks up for women’s rights.
And she said it was because of her commitment to justice and the truth that she decided in 2019 she would take legal action against Evans.
After she claimed to have endured online threats, being followed, days and nights spent worrying about the unfamiliar cars parked outside her home, she filed what would be her first restraining order against him.
On May 9, 2019, Miller filed a petition for a personal safety order against Evans that was based on allegations stalking and repeated credible threats of bodily injury or having reason to know that the threats caused reasonable fear for safety, court documents obtained by Inside Edition Digital show. He was served with the order, which prevented him from having contact with Miller, even through a third party, on June 4, 2019.
“Violation of this order may result in criminal prosecution, and, if convicted, incarceration, fine, or both,” it warned. The order was to remain in effect until Aug. 20, 2019.
But before the order was up, Miller claims Evans violated it.
“Mr. Evans’ refusal to acknowledge the requirements of the Court’s Final Personal Safety Order is disturbing because it demonstrates a contempt for the law,” Cook, Miller’s attorney, said at the time. “If he blatantly refuses to abide by the Court’s requirements here, how much further is he willing to go to unlawfully achieve whatever objectives he might have?”
Miller and Evans entered into a consent agreement that would prevent him from going to the clinic for a year and a half, Miller said.
Though Evans was barred from the clinic, Miller said, the damage had already been done.
The Women’s Health Center went on to erect a fence around its building due to the harassment its clients endured. The City Council also got involved. A bill introduced to the council prevented protesters from standing within six feet of the building in an effort to both respect a person’s “right to protest or counsel against certain medical procedures” while acknowledging “that access to health care facilities for the purpose of obtaining medical counseling and treatment is imperative.”
But the harassment continued. And Miller claimed that where Evans couldn’t go, members of the Oath Keepers could.
A Look at the Oath Keepers, the Extremist Group With Which Evans Was Seen Picketing the Clinic
The Oath Keepers is one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U.S. today. While members claim to be dedicated to defending the U.S. Constitution, the entire organization is based on a set of baseless conspiracy theories about the federal government working to destroy the liberties of Americans, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy organization that tracks hate groups. Though sometimes described as a “militia,” the SPLC has designated the Oath Keepers as an extremist group with an antigovernment ideology, noting on its website that many present and former law enforcement officials and military veterans count themselves as members. And on Jan. 6, eight men seen in body armor inside the Capitol during the siege were identified by ProPublica and Frontline as members of the Oath Keepers.
Well before the group’s name and ideology were familiar to average news junkies, Kay had a personal familiarity with the group.
“They were old men who showed up wearing Oath Keeper t-shirts and they had lawn chairs and [would] be as close to the fence as they could,” she said of the individuals who would picket the clinic. But they wouldn’t just remain at the clinic, she said. Kay noted she had been followed to her home and has been threatened online.
And though Evans was unable to picket the clinic or approach Miller, the fear she experienced when confronted by him that she had pushed down came back to the surface when he ran for local government.
Derrick Evans’ Campaign and Role as an Assemblyman Was Not Without Controversy
Evans announced his intentions to run for an assemblyman position in Wayne County in June 2019. If elected, he would become a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. He had run an unsuccessful campaign on the Libertarian ticket in 2016, Ballotpedia confirmed. But in 2019, he ran as Republican.
"He ran as a Republican and figured he'd be an extremist like Trump and started using abortion as a vocal point to gain voters," Miller said. "I don’t think he believes in anything because he tried everything to get into office and this is what finally got him there. He wants star power. I don't know if he knows the damage he is capable of doing."
During that period, Miller said that Evans tried to include footage of her in one of his campaign commercials without her permission. “At the hearing on May 20, 2019, the Magistrate clarified that the Final Personal Safety Order applied to social media. However, after entering into a Consent Order pledging to abide by this Order, Mr. Evans posted a video of Ms. Miller in October of 2020 on his campaign website,” Cook, Miller’s attorney, told Inside Edition Digital. “Mr. Evans removed the video after being informed that legal action would be pursued.”
Though Miller and Evans had entered into a consent agreement, she said she believed she wasn’t fully out of harm’s way. She worked tirelessly to stop him from getting elected, knowing how dangerous he could be in a position of power, she said.
Pete Hackeman, a campaign strategist and donor advisor with GoodRock Solutions who Miller knew through her work at the ACLU, helped Miller raise funds so she could run a commercial online that spoke to Evans’ alleged unfitness to serve in office.
“I reached out to so many local and national newspapers to tell them that I had protective orders against Evans so he wouldn’t get elected. No one would listen to me,” Miller said. “My personal opinion is that I am a woman and it happened in a place that offers access to abortions. I don’t think they wanted to touch it because I am an abortionist. I sent emails. No one did anything and I know they read my messages. I even went onto Twitter to alert the companies that endorsed Evans. I looked like a crazy manic person. And, they ignored me.
“I called our State Troopers Association,” she continued. “Literally, no one would listen, and they even endorsed him.”
Vass, the freelance journalist, told Inside Edition Digital he went to the State Troopers Association, which is a political action committee and a separate entity from local law enforcement, about the restraining order out against Evans.
“When I first reached out and brought the restraining order to their attention, it was a month before the election,” Vass said.
Vass said the State Troopers Association said it was unaware of the restraining order out against Evans at the time of his campaign, but Vass pointed out that local news organizations had picked up the story and a simple Google search would have brought the incidents to anyone’s attention. “They never rescinded their endorsement and he went on to win his district and become a State Representative,” he said.
The news left Miller depressed and defeated, she said. “People should listen to women when there is something like this when you are getting stalked and terrorized by a person with political powers,” she said.
And then, on Jan. 6, the country came to a grinding halt as news spread that the Capitol building was under attack. Extremist Trump supporters who had attended a rally hosted by the President had marched on the Capitol and stormed the building. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the assault. Among the many people who filmed themselves taking part in the siege was Evans.
In Wake of Assault on the Capitol, Evans Is Arrested and Resigns From His Position, But Those Familiar With Him Remain Afraid of What Could Come Next
In the footage Evans took of himself breaching the Capitol, he can be seen wearing a helmet and yelling President Donald Trump’s name.
“He is a narcissist. He does things like this for attention,” Miller said. “He would tape all his rallies of patients. He would take down their license plates number and put them online. He’s been doing this for years. There are never any consequences for this man. Ever!,"
But Evans did face consequences. Evans was arrested and charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds, the United States Attorney’s Office said. Evans was taken into custody Friday.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Evans demonstrated just how far he is willing to go on January 6, 2021, when he acted as leader in the insurrection and brazenly videoed and publicly posted footage of he and his followers attempting a coup against the United States,” Cook, Miller’s attorney, told Inside Edition Digital. “Mr. Evans and his followers are no strangers to violence and threats of violence. Previous to the hearing in which Ms. Miller sought and was granted a Final Personal Safety Order against Mr. Evans, one of Mr. Evans’ followers posted: 'If you murder her [Petitioner] can we call it abortion!!'" Cook continued. "At the May 20, 2020 hearing, the Court recognized that Mr. Evans’ actions had the potential of inciting violence from his followers. The Court’s fears were realized on January 6, 2020. For example, via a social media post in advance of Mr. Evans’ and his followers’ recent trip to Washington D.C., he instructed his followers to brings knives and pepper spray.”
Evans’ participation in the Capitol Assault came a little over one week since Miller’s consent agreement had run out against him.
“My order ran out on Dec. 31. 2020, and within a week he [Evans] was arrested for federal charges,” she said.
Evans resigned from the House of Delegates on Jan. 9, after less than a month in the position.
“Whether he goes to jail or not is up to the system. I guarantee that if he was a Black man he’d been in jail. Period.,” Miller said.
His arrest has not brought total closure to what the women he confronted at the clinic endured.
And the outpouring of support Evans has seemed to receive has only furthered their concerns. A defense fund has been created to aid Evans in his upcoming legal battle. “Conservative pro Trump politician needs help with legal defense fund,” the page reads.
“The idea of him sitting in the House of Delegates was terrifying to me,” Kay said. “I feel like I am not done dealing with him. I am still very threatened by him. I feel uneasy. I won’t be happy until he is not able to run for office.”
“I am glad that he is not in a position that is going to dictate how the rest of the state lives because he is an extremist and I don’t want to see any extremist sitting in the House of Delegates," Williams said, noting he was glad to see Evans resign. "But, I would like to see them go further and pass a resolution or do whatever is necessary to make sure that he's not able to run for office or serve in any elected position in West Virginia again.”
“I think if he is ever in a position he would run again. He’s a guy that is all about the attention," Williams continued. "He loves that livestream and loved getting on that livestream no mater how foul he was being. He just ate that up. Given the attention given the opportunity, he’d get back in the mix."
The Women's Health Center of West Virginia said in a statement made after Evans' arrest that they were "still processing the violent demonstration." "We were disturbed but unsurprised to see familiar faces participating in this violence - one of which was a (now former) West Virginia elected official who terrorized our patients, staff and volunteers."
But not all hope is lost.
A Small Silver Lining
In the wake of the news of Evans’ arrest, the picketing the clinic endured was again reported on. As a result, it received an overwhelming amount of donations. “Over the weekend, we received an outpouring of support from our community in response to this person’s actions. More than 350 people in West Virginia and beyond came together to raise over $15,000 to support our clinic and stand up for abortion access,” the clinic said in a statement. “Thank you does not even being to cover it. We are incredibly touched by the support you have shown us. You make our work possible. Period.
"No one should have to fear harassment and intimidation from extremists on the sidewalks when seeking health care, but this week has shown us that we are lucky enough to have a community that will show up for our patients, staff and clinic," the clinic said.
Miller was elated by the news.
“Because of Derrick Evans and everyone’s knowledge around here of stalking me and the clinic, the women’s health center received $15,000 in donations over the two-day weekend. The clinic is no- profit and runs on donations and grants. This is amazing,” Miller said. “It is unprecedented.”
She prays the support will continue, she said, because “the fight never stops and the money is never not needed.”
Miller herself also looking forward. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., a security guard has taken the place of patient escorts at the clinic, she said. She plans to continue her advocacy work and work on her art. She currently has no plans to renew the protection order against Evans.
“Unless something happens that makes me fearful, I don’t want this to be a part of my life anymore. I don’t want this to be my narrative anymore,” she said.
“The satisfaction came when he has to put in his resignation,” she continued. “I am just relieved he doesn’t get to make the laws here. I think someone should make it so he is never able to run for office in the state again. He is not what our state is about. There are so many good people that deserve so much better.”
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