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First Woman Convicted By Jury in Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Riot

A Pennsylvania woman who joined a mob in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite on Jan. 6, 2021, was convicted Monday of impeding police officers trying to defend the Capitol, Politico reports. After three days of deliberation, jurors convicted Riley Williams, 23, of six charges, including two felonies: participating in a civil disorder and impeding officers who tried to clear the Capitol Rotunda. The jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on two central charges: whether Williams “aided and abetted” the theft of a laptop from Pelosi’s office that the speaker used to make Zoom calls amid the COVID pandemic, and obstruction of Congress’ Jan. 6 proceeding — a felony that carries a 20-year maximum penalty. Prosecutors can retry Williams on the two unresolved charges. She will be sentenced in February.


U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Williams immediately remanded to federal prison, agreeing with prosecutors that she presents a flight risk if released before sentencing. Williams was “packed and ready to flee” after Jan. 6, Jackson noted, and had a sophisticated understanding about how to cover her tracks. Her actions toward police on Jan. 6, Jackson said, eroded any confidence the judge had in Williams’ ability to obey court orders. Prosecutors noted that Williams faces a multi-year sentence, likely to be enhanced by her efforts to delete messages and cover up her conduct. “She was profane. She was obnoxious. She was threatening,” Jackson said. “She organized others to forcibly resist.” The verdict closes a significant chapter in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation. Williams was among the first defendants charged and arrested for breaching the Capitol, and is the first convicted by a jury after breaking into Pelosi’s office. She is the first woman convicted by a federal jury for Jan. 6-related offenses.

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