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Southern Utah man becomes 2nd in Utah to plead guilty to US Capitol riot charges

A Toquerville man who pleaded guilty on Wednesday is the second in Utah to plead guilty to charges connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot in Washington, D.C.

A Toquerville man who pleaded guilty on Wednesday is the second in Utah to plead guilty to charges connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot in Washington, D.C. (Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

WASHINGTON — A second Utahn has pleaded guilty in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot in Washington, D.C.

Willard Peart, a Toquerville resident, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing at the Capitol during a hearing in a Washington, D.C., federal court.

Peart is the second Utah resident to plead guilty to charges connected to the attack just over a year ago. A mob of supporters for then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in the hopes of interfering with congressional certification of Joe Biden as president. Eight Utah residents are among the more than 700 people who have been charged in connection with the attack.

According to initial charging documents, Peart contacted FBI agents and told them he entered the Capitol during the riot. On Jan. 20, Peart and his attorney met with agents and allegedly told them he went inside that day.

Security cameras showed Peart enter the Capitol and move throughout the building, charging documents noted. The documents said that Peart did not assault anyone or damage any property while he was there. Peart was eventually escorted out of the building, according to court documents.

Peart was charged with the single misdemeanor count, to which he pleaded not guilty in December. He ultimately, however, pleaded guilty to the same charge on Wednesday.

He faces a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail. Peart's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 5.

The other Utahn to plead guilty to charges stemming from that Jan. 6 incident is Jacob Wiedrich, who pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Wiedrich is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 19.

Six other people in Utah have been charged, though their cases remain unresolved.

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