At least 17 North Carolinians have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters. Some 750 people have been arrested to date in connection with a riot that left five dead, injured some 140 police officers and left some $1.4 million in damages to the building.
Here’s the latest on the North Carolina defendants:
Kernersville man gets weekend jail time
Anthony Scirica told investigators he wanted to see for himself what was going on inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. So he walked inside.
Now, the Kernersville man will see the inside of a jail.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper sentenced Scirica to 15 days in custody after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge connected with the Capitol violence. Scirica was given one day’s credit and will serve the remainder of his time on seven “intermittent weekends,” according to Cooper’s order.
Scirica was arrested in June and charged with four misdemeanor crimes. He pleaded guilty in September to one count of Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.
According to prosecution documents, Scirica illegally entered the Capitol but did not participate in the violence. Instead, he walked around parts of the building and shot photos and video.
Scirica must also pay a $500 fine and $500 in restitution.
Sentence eased for mom who took son to riot
On Jan. 7, a federal judge in Washington ordered Virginia “Jenny” Spencer to spend 90 days in custody and serve three years of probation for her role in the Capitol violence.
Spencer pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor charge as Scirica, but she received a harsher punishment.
In an order Wednesday, however, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly lopped off 36 months of supervised release after Spencer’s attorney Allen Orenberg argued that the law did not allow the judge to hand down both an active prison sentence and probation for a petty offense.
The original sentence of 90 days jail time followed by three years of supervised release had been recommended by federal prosecutors, who argued against eliminating the probation. Spencer, a mother of five, begins her sentence next month.
Her husband, Christopher Spencer, the first North Carolinian arrested in connection with the insurrection, faces trial in Washington on multiple charges. The couple brought their 14-year-old son into the Capitol, which Kollar-Kotelly said showed a “complete lack of judgment” by his mother.
Cary man’s pretrial release revoked
A federal judge in Washington on Tuesday revoked the pretrial release of James Tate Grant of Cary after two failed drug tests and a December arrest on a drunk driving charge in Wake County in which police say Grant was carrying a high-powered rifle and ammunition in his car. Grant, 29, was one of the first rioters to fight police outside the Capitol, prosecutors say.
▪ Former High Point police officer Laura Steele, part of an alleged Oath Keepers force that stormed the Capitol, has been named in a seventh superseding indictment. The Jan. 12 filing, which has been sealed, is part of the government’s increasing focus on the actions of right-wing militia groups during the assault. Steele also is a defendant in a sweeping civil complaint filed by the District of Columbia against the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and their reputed members.
▪ James “Les” Little of Claremont is scheduled to plead guilty on Feb. 11 to a misdemeanor charge of Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in the Capitol. The Catawba County man was turned into the FBI by a relative Little called from inside the building during the riot. “You’ll thank me for saving your freedom,” Little told his family member.
▪ Stephen Maury Baker of Garner also is pleading guilty. His plea hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7.
▪ Stephen Horn of Wake Forest, who faces four misdemeanor charges, has asked the court to change the terms of his pretrial release so he can carry a gun. Prosecutors are opposed. The judge has not ruled.