Thursday, June 1, 2023

What's Next For New Mexicans Charged In Capitol Riot Cases?

Will The Three Men Charged Serve Time In Federal Prison?


In all, three men from New Mexico were arrested and charged for attending the Capitol riot on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Cowboys for Trump leader and Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin is scheduled for a trial for his involvement on March 21. Griffin has been the most vocal and demanded the most media attention of the three since his arrest. As the first anniversary of the insurrection nears, we take a look at where each of their cases stands.

Shawn Witzemann

Shawn Witzemann, Source: FBI

Witzemann, who claims he entered the Capitol as a journalist and was filming the riot, turned himself in on April 6 and pled not guilty. He was formally charged on April 15 with knowingly entering any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and parading demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

After his arrest, Witzemann has been active on social media, although not always in favor of the former president. Witzemann does not have a trial scheduled yet and publicly continues to defend his attendance at the Capitol on January 6. His case is scheduled for a hearing on January 25.

Matthew Martin

Matthew Martin, 43, is a former federal defense contractor from Santa Fe. According to court documents, Martin has been federally charged with unlawful entry, disorderly conduct impeding the conduct of government business, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the capitol buildings. Martin claims that after he saw that the protests were more extreme than he anticipated, he flew out of D.C. the following day. Martin also claims he is innocent because he and other protestors were encouraged to attend by Donald Trump.

The FBI tracked Martin down through his cell phone. CCTV footage provided by the FBI shows Martin wandering around in a throng of protestors taking pictures and videos of the riot. Martin had taken selfies and videos of the attack, which was used as further evidence against him. One of the videos on Martin's phone shows a police officer standing near a door to the Capitol. The video also shows that a pane of glass on the door has been smashed. Another video shows Martin in the Capitol rotunda as he films crowds of people rioting inside.

Since his arrest, Martin has kept a low profile on social media. Martin has been charged with entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct which impedes government business, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings and demonstrating in the Capitol buildings. Each offense is a misdemeanor charge but can carry up to a year in prison.

Martin is scheduled for trial on March 29 in front of U.S. Federal Judge Trevor McFadden, who will also preside over Cowboys for Trump leader Couy Griffin's trial scheduled for March 21st.

More than 600 defendants have been charged in connection with the riots, and several are already serving their sentences after being convicted.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here