NC man in pizza sex-slave conspiracy shooting reaches plea deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina man who police said was inspired by false internet rumors to fire an assault weapon inside a Washington pizzeria has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

At a status hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, lawyers said they have reached a plea deal in principle for 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch, who is from Salisbury.

Authorities say Welch fired multiple shots, causing panic inside the Comet Ping Pong restaurant Dec. 4, after driving from North Carolina to investigate a conspiracy theory about Democrats harboring child sex slaves.

Terms of the plea were not discussed. Welch’s lawyer declined comment after the hearing. The plea hearing will be March 24.

Welch was charged with interstate transportation of a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.

— WNCN contributed to this report

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