NC man pleads guilty to storming Capitol to disrupt Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges that he stormed the U.S. Capitol last year to disrupt Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote, court filings show.
Matthew Mark Wood pleaded guilty on Friday to all six counts in his March 2021 indictment, including a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding. The other five counts are all misdemeanors.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is scheduled to sentence Wood on Sept. 23.
A day before the riot, Wood drove from North Carolina to Washington, D.C., with his grandmother and another relative. Less than a week earlier, Wood sent a text message to another person that said, “If they want to raid Congress, sign me up,” according to a court filing accompanying his guilty plea.
After the riot erupted, Wood entered the Capitol by climbing through a window. He followed others on a path toward the Senate chamber but left the area without entering it.
After rioters breached a police line in the Capitol Crypt, Wood followed others up a staircase and into the House Speaker’s office suite. He left the Capitol through a door more than an hour after he entered the building, the filing says.
In a text message to somebody a day after the riot, Wood said he “took a stand” but called it “extremely inappropriate.”
“I can’t believe I participated in such chaos,” he added.
The riot disrupted the joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
Wood was arrested in Winston Salem, North Carolina, last year.
At a separate hearing on Friday, a Maryland man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the Capitol riot. Matthew Joseph Buckler is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21 after pleading guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Buckler, of La Plata, Maryland, entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 by climbing through a broken window.
More than 800 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot. At least 300 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors, and nearly 200 of them have been sentenced. Approximately 100 others have trial dates.
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