By Hannah Rabinowitz and Holmes Lybrand | CNN
Four men pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the January 6, 2021, US Capitol riot, adding to a growing number of defendants accepting responsibility for their part in the attack.
So far, 25% of the more than 720 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty to federal charges, most of which were not charged with violence or destruction inside the Capitol building, and 76 defendants sentenced, according to CNN’s latest tally. Has been.
On Monday, Emily Hernandez, a college junior who triumphantly held the broken part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sign over her head on January 6, pleaded guilty to illegally entering the Capitol. According to the plea agreement read out in court, Hernandez went to the Capitol building with her uncle and a friend.
Hernandez admitted to taking home the broken sign in addition to a red “Keep of Fence” sign, a fire extinguisher pin and tag and a “Please Do Not Touch” sign from the base of a statue inside the Capitol. He returned all the stolen signs to investigators at the end of January.
He faces a maximum prison term of one year.
Days before pleading guilty, Hernandez was reportedly involved in a fatal drunk driving accident in her home state of Missouri. Local news reports said Hernandez was drunk and driving on the wrong side of the road when she collided with another car, killing a 32-year-old mother and seriously injuring her husband . Hernandez also ended up in the hospital.
In light of the confrontation, District Judge James Bosberg in Washington, D.C. banned Hernandez from drinking and driving and ordered that he submit to alcohol and drug testing and treatment. Hernandez is not currently facing any criminal charges related to the fatal accident.
Paul Colbath also pleaded guilty to an illegal protest in the building on Monday. According to prosecutors, Colbath sent a message to his wife that the riot was “wild” and that tear gas was being used. Colbath, when inside the building, assisted another rioter who had been sprayed with a chemical spray, escorted him to a side office where he saw broken windows and graffiti in the room. His sentencing is set for early April.
A couple who lived in the Capitol during the riot also pleaded guilty to illegally protesting in the building on Monday. The government initially began its investigation into Gabriel Barres and Madison Petit from an online tip and later matched social media images to photographs captured by surveillance cameras in the building. The pair were arrested in August.
a rioter punished
Esther Schwimmer, 56, who went to the Capitol with her friend – who was sentenced in December for participating in the riot – was sentenced on Monday to two years’ probation.
The Justice Department asked for 30 days of home confinement, stating how the defendant, Schwimmer, encouraged his friend, Jennifer Parks, to go to the Capitol and walk up a flight of stairs to the rotunda.
Schwimmer told Judge Dabney Frederick that she “was deeply ashamed of my actions that day. There was nothing Christlike about it. …I hope that in time (I can) forgive myself.”
“None of us are defined by the worst mistake we can make,” the judge said before sentencing. “I certainly hope you can forgive yourself.”
Schwimmer was “part of a large violent mob,” said Friedrich, which “caused the loss of life,” adding that “(h)er actions were in no way an act of patriotism.”
Frederick said he believed Schwimmer’s remorse was genuine and gave him the same sentence his friend had received from Judge Carl Nichols: 24 months of probation and 60 hours of community service.