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Army veteran dies awaiting trial for Jan. 6 Capitol storming

St. Augustine resident, John Steven Anderson, died last week. (Steve Patterson/The Florida Times-Union/TNS)

A St. Augustine man indicted after the Jan. 6 storming at the U.S. Capitol has died while awaiting trial on charges that included civil disorder and assaulting or resisting officers.

John Steven Anderson‘s attorney told a judge in Washington about the death during a case status conference Friday, court records show.

Anderson, 61, died Sept 21 at Baptist Medical Center South in Jacksonville, according to an obituary posted online by St. Johns Family Funeral Home & Crematory. The cause of death wasn’t listed.

The funeral home said Anderson started and ran businesses including Coastal Automotive and Diesel Service, Energy-Foam of North Florida, and EMP Provisions.

The obituary said he had been raised in Michigan and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years in his youth, later enlisting in the Florida Army National Guard and living most of his life around St. Augustine.

Anderson enjoyed politics and “supported numerous conservative candidates and causes as well as religious organizations and broadcasters,” the obituary said.

A visitor to the funeral home’s website describing himself as “a complete stranger” to Anderson praised him as “a patriot and a man of conviction” for his military service.

“If I show up at the service, it will be to honor the man and his memory, not to make any kind of political statement,” a message from the visitor said. “I will honor another fallen hero and pray for him and his family.”

Anderson is one of eight people from North Florida brought to federal court in Jacksonville for initial hearings involving the Capitol storming. All of their cases have been handled by judges in Washington, where Anderson was allowed to remain free pending trial on the condition that he not return to that city except for court business related to his trial.

He had been indicted in March on charges whose maximum punishment could have totaled decades in prison. His attorney had argued prosecutors greatly misstated the facts and told U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in July that video from the Capitol “contradicts the public narrative the government has put forward.”

Anderson asked the court to lift an order restricting circulation of that video as “highly sensitive,” and Contreras last month granted the request.

The Jan. 6 storming happened when Congress gathered to ratify President Joe Biden’s election victory over former President Donald Trump and protesters temporarily shut down the Capitol. Five deaths were connected to the chaos surrounding the storming.


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