Man pleads guilty to stealing Speaker Pelosi’s nameplate during Jan. 6 riot
A Missouri man who was charged for allegedly stealing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) nameplate during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot last year pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to theft of government property, The Kansas City Star reported.
William Merry Jr., 63, from St. Louis County was charged in February 2021 for his involvement in the Capitol insurrection.
When asked by U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg to enter a plea to the charge, Merry responded that he was “guilty,” according to the Star.
He was charged with four misdemeanors in 2021: theft of government property, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business and disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings.
The government, however, dropped three of those charges in exchange for his guilty plea, the newspaper reported.
His sentencing for the single misdemeanor count is scheduled for March 21.
He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a $100,000 fine and one year of supervised release, according to the Star.
Merry will also need to pay $500 in restitution for damage to the Capitol building, which the Department of Justice said totaled about $1.5 million.
His niece, Emily Hernandez, was also hit with five charges in connection with the riot. Federal prosecutors said in December they needed more time to continue building their case against her, eMissourian.com reported.
Federal authorities cited video and photos from the riot in which Hernandez can allegedly be seen wearing a “Trump 2020” hat and holding a piece of the nameplate that had been taken from the doorway of Pelosi’s office.
The Department of Justice released new data that showed more than 725 defendants have been arrested across the U.S. in connection with the Jan. 6 riots.
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