ATLANTA — On January 6, 2021 as lawmakers attempted to certify the 2020 presidential election results, hundreds of rioters took over the U.S. Capitol building. Amongst the crowd were several Georgians. Following investigations by the FBI and federal prosecutors, so far at least 22 people with ties to Georgia have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the insurrection.
Here is a look at who is charged so far, what crimes they are accused of committing and where their cases stand right now.
To date five of those defendants have pleaded guilty, but only two have been sentenced. All made plea deals with prosecutors. Here is the status of each of their cases.
Cleveland Meredith Jr. (Hiawassee)
Meredith was the first Georgian to be sentenced in connection to the riots at the U.S. Capitol, but he never actually made it to the incident.
According to court records, federal investigators determined Meredith drove to D.C. but arrived late for the January 6 riot. He texted friends and family members though making threats toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. In one series of texts a family member told Meredith Trump wanted everyone to go home, Meredith responded, "Bull****. He wants heads and I'm going to deliver."
In following messages he texted “I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG c***.” Meredith then sent a similar text about Pelosi, saying he was, “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi C****’s speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
FBI agents found Meredith had brought two firearms and 2,500 rounds of ammunition to D.C. Possession of a firearm within the jurisdiction of D.C. is illegal.
In December he pleaded guilty to a single felony count of “Transmitting a Threat in Interstate Commerce.” A federal judge sentenced him to 28 months in prison and he is to receive credit for 11 months he already served while in custody.
Kevin Creek (Alpharetta)
Court documents show Creek assaulted two police officers from the Metropolitan Police Department at approximately 2:28 p.m. on Jan. 6 on the West Terrace area of the Capitol. Creek reportedly struck one officer in the hand, as well as pushed and kicked a second officer. In December he entered a plea agreement for a single charge of “Assault, Resisting or Impeding Certain Officers.” Creek is scheduled to receive his sentence in March and is out of jail until that time. Court records show he could receive a sentence of up to eight years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Verden Andrew Nalley (Buford)
After initially entering a not guilty plea for several charges connected to the riots, Nalley later reached a deal with prosecutors and entered a guilty plea for a charge of “Entering a Restricted Building or Grounds.”
The 50-year-old was arrested on February 19, 2021, and has remained in custody since then. His plea agreement documents show he faces a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.
Mitchell Simon (Jefferson)
After reaching a plea deal Simon also had several charges against him dropped and he ultimately pleaded guilty to a single charge of “Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.”
In court records, prosecutors detail video evidence showing Simon inside the Capitol building on January 6. He is quoted as saying “We weren’t invited, we broke in here.”
Simon had turned himself in to authorities in May of 2021 and was later released as his case moved forward. He is scheduled to be sentenced in late January where he faces a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment plus a fine of no more than $5,000 according to court records.
Devlyn Thompson (Georgia, moved from Washington State to GA months before riots according to the Associated Press):
Thompson reached a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to one count of Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers Using a Dangerous Weapon. He was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Thompson wrote an apology letter to the officer he assaulted during the riots according to court proceedings. Prosecutors in court said Thompson was part of a mob in a Capitol entrance that attacked officers. Surveillance video captured Thompson at the Capitol. Prosecutors said he struck a police officer’s hand with a baton he found. Prior to that attack, Thompson and others took riot shields from officers and he threw a large speaker striking the head of another rioter, drawing blood, according to prosecutors. His defense attorneys argued for a lighter sentence stating Thompson is on the Autism spectrum. The judge issuing Thompson’s sentence stated that isn’t an excuse for the defendant’s actions and noted he had a job with a $90,000 a year salary before the riot.
While some defendants have already agreed to plea deals and some have been sentenced, investigators continue to track down even more individuals and make additional arrests, including more Georgians.
Ronald Loehrke (Gainesville)
Loehrke is charged with four crimes and was arrested on December 3, 2021. He is accused of obstructing law enforcement, unlawfully entering the capitol grounds, doing so violently, and assaulting or resisting officers. Following his arrest and initial court appearance, he was released from custody as he awaits trial.
Matthew Webler (Decatur)
Also arrested on December 3, 2021, Webler remains in custody. Investigators discovered a video on Facebook where he allegedly described himself entering the Capitol building. Within the video, Webler reportedly shouted "1776" as he exited the Capitol building.
Webler also allegedly mentioned standing up to people attempting to vandalize the Capitol building. He faces four criminal charges for entering a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.
YOUNG FACES AMONGST THE CROWD
Four of the Capitol riot defendants from Georgia range in age from 18 to 23 years old, making them barely old enough to vote. Still, each is accused of not only being in the middle of the crowd on January 6 but making it inside the Capitol Building.
Bruno Cua (Milton)
A federal indictment shows the Milton native faces a total of 12 charges in connection to the riot at the U.S. Capitol one month before his arrest. The charges include accusations by federal prosecutors of Cua assaulting an officer on the Capitol grounds, illegally entering the Capitol building, and civil disorder. Federal prosecutors have said photos and video images show Cua was one of the few individuals to enter the U.S. Senate Chambers during the violence in D.C., and he entered the building with a baton in his hands. Cua has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges he faces. A judge had denied Cua’s request to be released on bond and into the custody of his parents as he awaits trial. In court, Cua’s father said they drove their son to Washington D.C. In a later court hearing, a judge approved his release, but Cua was directed to live with a third-party custodian.
Nolan Harold Kidd (Crawford) and Savannah Danielle McDonald (Elberton):
Kidd, 21, and McDonald, 20, are shown in the Capitol Building together in evidence submitted in court by prosecutors. Each faces four charges based on accusations they illegally entered and remained in the Capitol Building. Court records detail McDonald and her co-defendant Kidd being interviewed by FBI agents and Kidd telling them “the doors to the U.S. Capitol were wide open.” Photo and video evidence shows McDonald with Kidd inside the building on January 6, according to prosecutors. Video evidence referenced by prosecutors in court records quotes Kidd as saying he entered the elevators along with McDonald and made their way through the building. McDonald is quoted as saying “We did not break-in.”
Benjamin Henry Torre (Dawsonville)
Arrested approximately a month after the riot, Torre later pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces and is currently out of jail awaiting trial.
Court records detail Torre being questioned by FBI agents and stating he drove to Washington D.C. with his family, including his parents, to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally. The document states he told the agent "things got a little heated" and that "D.C. Police came and made a line alongside the Capitol" to block people from climbing on the scaffolding.
Torre said that when he was inside the Capitol, officers "helped us" and that they did not try to stop the intruders from entering. He said he even nodded at the officers as they continued through the building. He said at one point, he saw a line of officers and he spoke to them and said, “We are here in support of you and we back the blue.”
He told FBI agents that when he was inside the Capitol, he did not damage any property.
MOTHER AND SON
Lisa Eisenhart (Woodstock) and Eric Munchel - AKA Zip-Tie Guy
Eisenhart was arrested in Tennessee along with her son Eric Munchel: Court documents allege Eisenhart traveled to Washington with Munchel and that investigators have photos and video showing both at a hotel - and later at the Capitol as it was stormed. It also alleges that the two were standing near as a mob attacked officers guarding the Senate chambers. The documents also allege the mother and son had flex cuffs in their hands, Munchel also carried a taser and later entered the Senate chambers.
The pair have each been indicted on a long list of charges related to illegally entering the Capitol Building and the possession of weapons. Each have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently out of jail.
MORE DEFENDANTS CHARGED WITH VIOLENCE
Joseph Hutchinson III (Albany)
Arrested on June 30 and indicted on July 1, Hutchinson pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released from jail as his case moves forward.
Prosecutors allege Hutchinson and several co-conspirators gathered on the west side of the capitol. Court documents detail Hutchinson grabbing a fence and pulling it back to give rioters access to a line of police officers. Hutchinson is accused of then charging the line of officers and throwing punches, kicking the line of officers, punching an officer who stumbled and grabbing the sleeve of another officer before throwing them out of his way.
Joseph (Jose) Padilla (Dalton area)
Arrested in late February and indicted in March, Padilla has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces. He remains in jail as he awaits trial.
Body camera video and images shared on social media gathered by prosecutors allegedly show Padilla at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. According to prosecutors, Padilla can be seen approaching a barricade line before being pushed back by police. He is initially wearing a scuba mask over his eyes. Police body camera footage captured him pushing a barricade and shouting “Push! Push! F****** push!” Other images published in court records appear to show Padilla and others using a large sign on wheels with a metal frame as a battering ram against officers. At an entryway to the Capitol building, prosecutors claim Padilla held a flagpole and then threw it at officers as the officers were being attacked by rioters.
Jack Whitton (Locust Grove)
Arrested on April 1, 2021, Whitton remains in jail with his next court date scheduled for early February.
According to a federal indictment, Whitton - along with co-defendants Jeffrey Sabol of Kittredge, Colorado; and Peter Francis Stager of Conway, Arkansas - allegedly assaulted a DC Metropolitan Police Officer with a baton, flag, pole, and a crutch.
OTHERS WHO MADE IT INSIDE THE CAPITOL
William Calhoun Jr. (Americus)
The 57-year-old attorney was arrested January 15, 2021. Calhoun's use of social media is how the Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted to him. According to an affidavit filed by the FBI agent assigned to the case, a concerned citizen called and was able to provide information he shared on Facebook, Twitter and Parler. He bragged in a post that he was among the “the first of us who got upstairs kicked in Nancy Pelosi’s office door and pushed down the hall toward her inner sanctum” and that if the Speaker was around, she "probably would have been torn into little pieces." Calhoun has been indicted on charges connected to illegally entering the Capitol Building and entered a not guilty plea. He is currently out of jail.
Jonathan Laurens (Duluth)
In April of 2021, the FBI found postings on Laurens’ Facebook page citing that he was in the Capitol at the time of the insurrection. Photos taken by him were also obtained during the investigation according to court records. “We got into the Capitol (sic), walked around, chanted some slogans and stuff. A few bad apples were trying to break windows and kick on doors, but most of us put that sh*t to bed real fast. We weren’t there to tear sh*t up, just disrupt the system. All in all, I had fun! Lol,” Laurens wrote according to social media posts included in documents prepared by prosecutors. Laurens was arrested in June and has since been released from custody as he awaits trial.
Blas Santillan (Rabun County)
Warrants revealed Santillan allegedly posted several videos on his Snapchat account, including video of himself inside the Capitol during the riots. The warrant also claims Capitol Building security video showed Santillan entering the doors of the Capitol as two Capitol police officers stood in the doorway attempting to stop rioters. According to the warrant, after making it through the Capitol's doors, he could be heard in one of the videos saying, "I made it in." There is also video of Santillan walking down the street with a chair and pole strapped to his back. He was heard saying, "I got a chair, pole, and a book," the warrant stated. Santillan was arrested in August 2021 and is out of jail as he awaits trial on charges connected to illegally entering the Capitol Building.
Brian Ulrich (Guyton)
According to information released by the Department of Justice, as early as December 2020 Ulrich messaged online with other defendants to make plans to be at the Capitol on January 6. Court records detail Ulrich telling others to bring guns and ammo and saying “I will be the guy running around with the budget AR.” According to the DOJ around 2:30 p.m. on January 6, Ulrich and others drove golf carts toward the Capitol building and swerved around law enforcement vehicles. Ulrich is accused of having “aggressively berated and taunted law enforcement officers in riot gear guarding the perimeter of the Capitol near the east side of the building.” The accusations made by the DOJ state at “3:21 p.m, Ulrich entered the east side rotunda doors. He exited at 3:33 p.m. through the same doors, according to the indictment.” Arrested in August 2021 and indicted in December, Ulrich has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He currently is out of jail as he awaits trial.
THOSE THAT MADE IT TO D.C. BUT NEVER WENT INSIDE THE CAPITOL BUILDING
Michael Shane Daughtry (Baker County)
Arrested nine days after the riot and arraigned in court in March 2021, Daughtry entered a not guilty plea and has since been released from jail. In court records prosecutors detail Daughtry being at the Capitol building on January 6, forcing his way past barricades, claiming he tore down fencing and reaching the Capitol door, “but ‘had to back off’ when law enforcement officers shot him with rubber bullets.” He is charged with crimes connected to illegally entering the Capitol grounds.
Christopher Stanton Georgia (Alpharetta): On January 9, 2021, Georgia died by suicide at his home in Alpharetta according to local authorities. Police and the Fulton County Medical Examiner found Georgia with a gunshot wound to the chest.
According to documents from the Superior Court of DC, Georgia had been charged with attempting to "enter certain property, that is, the United States Capitol Grounds, against the will of the United States Capitol Police,” on January 6. Documents show that around 7:15 p.m. on the night of the riots, Georgia along with several others were outside in violation of a District-wide 6 p.m. curfew. When officers gave several warnings for the group to disperse, documents said they did not. Georgia and the group were placed under arrest as a result.
The FBI and federal prosecutors continue to investigate the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. Online the FBI has posted more than a dozen videos and hundreds of pictures of individuals agents are working to identify. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.