Kansas Proud Boy chief William Chrestman pleaded guilty Monday to obstruction of an official continuing and threatening a federal officer in the course of the January 6, 2021 riot on the US Capitol Constructing.
Chrestman’s plea got here as a part of a plea deal with the Division of Justice (DOJ) additionally launched Monday. The plea deal, as permitted by District Courtroom Decide Timothy J. Kelly, required Chrestman to signal a statement of offense stipulating his actual actions alongside along with his responsible plea. In return, the DOJ agreed it might not pursue additional prices towards Chrestman in relation to the actions listed within the assertion of offense. Moreover, the DOJ will even suggest a sentence of 14 years in jail, a major discount from the potential sentence if Chrestman had been discovered responsible of all counts within the original indictment.
Within the assertion of offense, Chrestman said that previous to January 6, 2021, he was a “second-degree” member of the Kansas chapter of the Proud Boys. Then in December 2020, Chrestman made plans to attend the Congressional certification of the presidential election outcomes with a purpose to protest the election of Joe Biden. He drove to Washington, DC from January 4 to five, 2021, staying at a Proud Boys “secure home” and assembly with different members of the group. The following morning he went to the Capitol carrying a tactical vest and protecting gloves, carrying a fuel masks. Whereas there, he inspired others to enter the Capitol after the Proud Boys marched towards it and pushed previous the police barricade shouting, “Go! Go!” He stayed on the Capitol for about an hour, the place he recorded movies of himself refusing to depart the realm. After that, he reached the bottom of the Capitol after threatening an officer with an axe deal with hooked up to an American flag, the place he then entered the constructing.
Chrestman is only one of many different Proud Boys members and management who’ve been charged with crimes associated to January 6 together with: Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola, Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Nicholas Ochs and Charles Donohoe. Canada was the primary nation to declare the Proud Boys a terrorist group after the group’s involvement within the January 6 riot. They’re additionally labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart (SPLC).
Chrestman’s sentencing is scheduled for January 12, 2024. He’ll stay in custody till then.