A member of the Oath Keepers agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors investigating an alleged plot by the far-right group to storm the Capitol, on the same day that a 49-year-old grandmother who spent 10 minutes in the building avoided a prison term.
Graydon Young, of Englewood, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice at a hearing in federal court in Washington on Wednesday afternoon. He admitted to working with fellow Oath Keepers to storm the building in a military-style formation and said he would assist the government in its continuing investigation.
Separately, in the first sentence handed down over the riot, Anna Morgan Lloyd, of Indiana, was ordered to serve three years of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, or lesser, charge. She admitted to joining the crowd who breached the building as Congress gathered to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory.
The parallel proceedings offered a window into how prosecutors have distinguished among the hundreds of people charged in the sprawling investigation. While defendants accused of more serious crimes, like assault and conspiracy, are facing years behind bars and may seek cooperation deals with the government, most of the people who breached the Capitol will likely plead guilty to comparatively minor crimes that carry lesser penalties.
Young, 56, is the second Oath Keeper to plead guilty and agree to assist federal authorities in the probe, which has led to more than 400 arrests. He was one of 16 Oath Keepers charged in the largest conspiracy case stemming from the storming of the Capitol.
By contrast, Lloyd was in the building only briefly, according to prosecutors, and was never accused of the more serious crimes.
In Facebook comments after the siege, she described her foray into the building as “the most exciting day of my life,” according to court records. But she later expressed regret. “I just want to apologize,” she said in court on Wednesday.
In handing down her sentence, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth made clear that he considered her brief trespass a serious offense.
“I don’t want to create the impression that probation is the automatic outcome here, because it’s not going to be,” he said. “I’m especially troubled by the accounts of some members of Congress that Jan. 6 was just a day of tourists walking through the Capitol.”
Still, he said, Lloyd deserved some leniency.
“You’ve led a good life,” he told her. “I know I will never see you again.”
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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