ATLANTA — It was January 6, 2021, when Congress attempted to certify the 2020 presidential election results; hundreds of rioters pushed their selves through others, police and barricades to take over the U.S. Capitol building.
Over two dozen people from Georgia were arrested and charged in connection to the insurrection, according to the federal investigations brought on by the FBI and Department of Justice.
The most recent arrest happened on December 15 when federal officials arrested Dominic Box, who lives in Savannah. According to evidence in federal court records, several social media accounts, including a Facebook live stream by Box, placed him at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6.
He has been charged with illegally entering the building and violent or disorderly conduct in the building.
As Box's case is in the early stages of working through the legal system, he is now at least the 27 person with Georgia ties to have been charged with crimes connected to January 6.
Six of those defendants are set to head to trial later this year. And a dozen others have been sentenced after accepting plea deals from federal prosecutors.
The longest sentence issued by a judge was three years and ten months in prison. The shortest sentence handed out was 21 days in jail.
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 by threatening 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 T.V.”
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 January 6 in the West Terrace area of the Capitol. Creek reportedly struck one officer in the hand and 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 was sentenced in March of 2022 to serve 27 months in prison, followed by 12 months of supervised release and will have to pay $2,000 in restitution.
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 sentenced to 2 years probation after accepting a plea deal last year.
Glen Mitchell Simon (Jefferson)
After reaching a plea deal, Simon also had several charges against him dropped. 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 turned himself in to authorities in May of 2021 and was later released as his case moved forward. A judge sentenced him to 8 months in prison and 12 months supervised release.
Devlyn Thompson (Georgia, moved from Washington State to G.A. 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 ten 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. Before that attack, Thompson and others took riot shields from officers, and he threw a large speaker, striking another rioter's head and 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 ruling said 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.
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. He was charged with crimes connected to illegally entering the Capitol grounds. 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.”
A judge has sentenced Daughtry to 2 months of home detention, 36 months of probation, a restitution fine of $500 restitution and 60 hours of community service.
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 faced 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.”
After entering guilty pleas, Kidd was sentenced to 45 days in jail, and McDonald was sentenced to 21 days in 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 of 2021.
Last year a judge sentenced him to 60 days of home detention, 12 months of probation, and 60 hours of community service. He was also handed a fine of $742 and $500 restitution.
Blas Santillan (Rabun County)
Warrants revealed Santillan allegedly posted several videos on his Snapchat account, including a 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 a 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 was later released on bond. After accepting a plea deal, he was sentenced to 45 days in prison, followed by 36 months on probation.
Benjamin Henry Torre (Dawsonville)
Arrested approximately a month after the riot, Torre later pleaded not guilty to the charges he faced and was out of jail awaiting trial. He later changed course and entered a guilty plea.
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 did not try to stop the intruders from entering. He said he 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 he did not damage any property when he was inside the Capitol.
Torre was ordered to serve 12 months of probation, including two months of home detention.
Matthew Webler (Decatur)
Arrested on December 3, 2021, Webler initially remained in custody as his case moved through the legal system. 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 faced 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.
As part of a guilty plea, most of the charges against Webler were dropped, and he was sentenced to 45 days in prison and ordered to pay $500 in restitution.
HEADING TO TRIAL
Bruno Cua (Milton)
Cua is the youngest defendant from Georgia, and with a trial date scheduled for February 13, he could also be the first to go before a jury.
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 to enter the U.S. Senate Chambers during the violence in D.C. 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.
William Calhoun Jr. (Americus)
The 57-year-old attorney is scheduled to stand trial shortly after Cua.
Calhoun was arrested days after the attack on 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 the information he shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Parler. He bragged in a post that he was among “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 were 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.
Calhoun's trial is set to begin on February 27. Court records list the trial as a bench trial, meaning a judge, not a jury, will decide his guilt or innocence.
Joseph Hutchinson III (Albany)
Arrested on June 30, 2021, and indicted days later on July 1, Hutchinson pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released from jail as his case progressed.
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.
He is now scheduled to head to trial on March 6.
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 that the mother and son had flex cuffs in their hands; Munchel 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 has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently out of jail.
They're set to stand trial as co-defendants on April 11.
Joseph (Jose) Padilla (Dalton area)
Arrested in late February 2021 and indicted in March, Padilla has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces. He remains in jail as he awaits trial, which is scheduled on May 1.
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.
ACCEPTED PLEA DEALS AND ARE NOW WAITING TO BE SENTENCED
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 D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer with a baton, flag, pole, and a crutch.
Whitton reached a plea deal on September 13, 2022, and his sentencing hearing is set to occur on March 6.
His guilty plea is for a charge of Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding Certain Officers Using a Dangerous Weapon. Whitton faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.
Brian Ulrich (Guyton)
The Guyton resident is one of the few January 6 defendants from around the country to have been charged with sedition, with court documents alleging he is a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia.
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 A.R.” 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 initially entered a not-guilty plea on all charges.
But in April 2022, a plea deal was announced in his case.
No sentencing date has been set, but Ulrich faces up to 40 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, and 6 years of supervised release after entering a guilty plea for the charges of Seditious Conspiracy and Obstruction of an Official Proceeding.
John Gould (Duluth)
According to a DOJ statement of facts document, Gould entered the Capitol with Laurens and wandered around for roughly 40 minutes.
During that time, according to the document, he entered the Rayburn Reception Room, took a photo of himself in the mirror and joined a group that "attempted to force their way into the House Chamber."
The document does not explicitly state he entered the House Chamber, though one of his charges is "entering or remaining on the floor of Congress."
He was initially charged with several crimes, including entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
He now faces up to 6 months in prison, five years in probation and a $5,000 fine after reaching a plea deal in early December. He is scheduled to be sentenced by a judge in late April.
Charles Hand and Mandy Robinson-Hand (Taylor County)
The Georgia couple was arrested in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Investigators say one was wearing a University of Georgia hat during the chaos.
After looking at video recorded from that day, DOJ said they have footage of the two inside the U.S. Capitol. Investigators said they could also confirm with an independent, unnamed witness, who knows the couple, that Chuck Hand and his wife, Mandy Michelle Robinson-Hand, were shown on the tape. Hand appeared to be wearing a red UGA hat with the team's emblem, photos show.
Robinson-Hand is the chairwoman of the Taylor County Republican Party. The pair pleaded guilty in October 2022 to a misdemeanor charge stemming from their participation in the U.S. Capitol riot.
They each face up to 6 months in prison, five years in probation, and a $5,000 fine. The couple is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13.
NO PLEA DEAL REACHED, AND NO TRIAL DATE SET
Ronald Loehrke (Gainesville)
Loehrke was 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.
The Gainesville native's next court date is scheduled for January 10 and is listed as a status conference for his case.
Jake Maxwell (Athens)
A press release by the DOJ alleges that 20-year-old Jake Maxwell "engaged in physical confrontations with law enforcement officers" at the Capitol on January 6, "banged his hands and pushed on the riot shield" of a Capitol police officer and "got into a physical struggle" with the officer.
According to Maxwell's criminal complaint on the DOJ website, his charges include the following:
- Assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers
- Civil disorder
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
- Engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds
- Act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds or buildings
Currently, court records don't list a future court date for Maxwell's case.
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 and several others were outside in violation of a District-wide 6 p.m. curfew. When officers warned the group to disperse several times, documents said they did not. Georgia and the group were placed under arrest as a result.
The FBI, joined by federal prosecutors, continued their investigation of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
Over a dozen videos and hundreds of photos were captured from the attack and posted by the FBI online. Anyone with information about someone involved in the attack or any information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.