Four defendants who crawled through a window to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor offense.
Zachary Martin, 45, Michael Quick, 44, Stephen Quick, 49, and Kari Kelly, 41, were all seen on surveillance video entering the Capitol building through a broken window at the Senate Wing door. They were among the hundreds of Donald Trump supporters that violently overran the Capitol, and many of them were charged with obstructing the counting of Electoral College votes and the certification of Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
In this case, the defendants pleaded guilty to one count each of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. That misdemeanor charge carries a sentence of up to one month behind bars and up to a $5,000 fine.
As of Thursday, more than 50 defendants accused in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have been convicted of the parading charge.
“This will be a little bit of a logistical challenge,” said U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, at the start of the hearing, as all defendants appeared via video due to the pandemic. But the hearing went smoothly overall, with all the defendants affirming their guilty pleas and admitting they entered the Capitol building without permission.
Michael and Stephen Quick are brothers who live in Springfield, Missouri. According to the the government’s complaint, they traveled to Washington together to attend Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally.
Stephen told investigators that he went inside the Capitol “along with others in his group,” and that he was “ashamed” of having entered the building. He estimated he was there for about 10 minutes, during which he took multiple photos inside and outside the Capitol, according to prosecutors.
Michael told investigators that he went to Washington on Jan. 6 to attend Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally. He said he entered the Capitol building through a broken window and estimated that he was in the building between five and 15 minutes, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“Michael Quick explained that his goal was to show support so Congress would investigate irregularities in the election and do something about it,” the affidavit says. “Michael Quick stated that he did not know he was trespassing at the time because he thought police were letting people in. Michael Quick also said that police were telling people where the exits were while he was inside.”
Martin, who also lives in Missouri, was flagged to federal investigators by an unidentified witness who watched as Martin livestreamed a video from inside the Capitol. Several other witnesses confirmed that Martin posted live videos to Facebook that day.
Like many other Jan. 6 defendants, Martin appears to have tried to scrub the social media evidence of his participation in the riot.
“FBI investigation to date indicates that Martin’s Facebook account was likely closed after January 6, 2021,” the complaint against Martin says. The FBI was unable to access his account, but an investigator did find public conversations between Facebook users describing Martin’s livestream.
The complaint noted that part of Martin’s video showed him standing in front of a portrait of former New York congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress.
Kelly, who is from Mobile, Alabama, was identified by another Jan. 6 suspect, who is unidentified in the complaint against her. Pictures from the probable cause affidavit show her standing inside the building near Martin and the Quick brothers.
She is holding up a phone and is “believed to be recording or Face Timing a person with her cellular device,” the affidavit says.
In addition to the demonstrating or parading charge, all four defendants were initially charged with violent entry disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Friedrich set a sentencing hearing for March 17, 2022.
[Images via FBI.]
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