Six Idahoans were charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Here’s where their cases stand
Ian Max Stevenson, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — A year ago, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to try to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election victory of President Joe Biden.
Thousands of Donald Trump supporters broke through police lines and rushed into the Capitol. Rioters broke windows, smashed furniture, plundered the offices of members of Congress, smeared feces on a wall and forced a panicked evacuation of the country’s top political leaders.
Around 140 law enforcement officers were injured, beaten by poles, attacked with bear spray or crushed in the onslaught. Four civilians died that day, including a woman, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by police when she attempted to break into a hallway that directly adjoins the House of Representatives chamber. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died of a stroke following the attack.
At least four police officers who defended the Capitol and Congress that day have killed themselves in the ensuing months. Repairs to the building have exceeded $1.4 million.
More than 700 people have been charged as part of a large Department of Justice investigation into the events of that day, and six Idahoans have been charged in federal court. Here’s where their cases stand.
JOSIAH COLT, TREASURE VALLEY
Josiah Colt pleaded guilty in July to one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding. Estimated advisory guidelines indicate Colt could face between 51 and 63 months in prison.
On the day of the attack, Colt was photographed inside the Capitol and jumping onto the Senate Chamber floor, where he sat in then-Vice President Mike Pence’s seat.
In a YouTube video from Jan. 6, Colt told the BBC that “if violence happens, like, it happens, but we’re not going to start it.”
In a statement to KBOI TV in Boise, he apologized for his actions, saying he “got caught up in the moment.”
As part of the plea agreement, Colt has agreed to fully cooperate with investigators pursuing other related cases, and federal attorneys have agreed not to prosecute Colt for other charges he faced, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a capitol building.
Colt will appear in court for a status conference on Jan. 19.
MICHAEL POPE, SANDPOINT
Michael Anthony Pope was arrested in February. A superseding indictment filed in November charged him and his brother, William Pope, of Kansas, with multiple counts, including obstructing or impeding an official proceeding; obstructing or impeding a law enforcement officer; impeding ingress and egress to a restricted building or grounds; civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.
Pope and his brother can be seen on Capitol security footage in the hallway outside the Speaker of the House’s office, as well as in other locations in the building, according to a statement of facts filed by the FBI. Video footage shows Michael Pope entering a Capitol elevator, after which it appears he “initially refused” to comply with a police officer’s request to leave. Three officers then removed him from the elevator.
On Jan. 12, 2021, William Pope left a message on an FBI tip line asking to turn himself in, authorities said. Later that month, he voluntarily submitted to an interview with the FBI.
In response to a prior indictment with similar charges, Michael Pope pleaded not guilty. He will appear in court for a status conference on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
YVONNE ST CYR, BOISE AREA
An Idaho woman who prosecutors allege entered the U.S. Capitol during the riots has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds, according to court records. The charges could be punishable by up to a year and a half in prison and up to 10 years of probation.
In Facebook livestreams described by FBI agents in an affidavit, St Cyr can be seen hanging out of a window on the west side of the Capitol.
During a Facebook livestream posted the day after the events, St Cyr discussed her time at the Capitol, saying, “God put me in that window, so I’m assuming God put me on CNN screaming like a mad woman … So hey, maybe I’m going to get arrested again, but I would get arrested and I would die for this country. So no regrets.”
St Cyr has a status conference hearing in federal court on Jan. 17.
DUKE WILSON, NAMPA
Duke Wilson, 67, pleaded guilty to counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees and to obstruction of an official proceeding. He initially faced several felonies, including entering and remaining in a restricted building, parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building, and obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder.
In April, an Idaho magistrate judge called Wilson’s actions “qualitatively different” from those of other Idaho Jan. 6 defendants.
The Nampa resident, who was wearing a baseball hat that read “CNN FAKE NEWS,” tried to pull open a door that Capitol Police were attempting to close and struck at police with was called a piece of PVC pipe, hitting at least one officer, according to a statement of offense signed by Wilson. He then threw the object at a line of police officers.
Wilson also assisted other rioters in attempting to pull a defensive shield away from a police officer and in pushing an officer to the ground.
Wilson’s plea agreement is nonbinding, meaning that he could face up to 20 years in prison with three years of supervised probation. Federal sentencing guidelines indicate that his sentence could be between 41 and 51 months.
His agreement with prosecutors says he will be interviewed by law enforcement about the Jan. 6 riot, will allow investigators to review his social media, and will pay $2,000 recompense to the Department of Treasury.
His sentencing in federal court is scheduled for March 4.
PAMELA HEMPHILL, BOISE
Pamela Hemphill was charged in August with misdemeanor counts of violent entry or disorderly conduct; entering a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a restricted building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Videos posted to Hemphill’s social media accounts show her outside of a partially shattered Capitol door, and she told a Washington, D.C., TV station in an interview that she entered the Capitol.
In a Facebook post a few days before Jan. 6, she encouraged people to attend Trump’s planned rally. “It’s not going to be a FUN Trump Rally that is planned for January 6th, its (sic) a WAR!” the post read.
She also posted a photo of herself with a rifle before heading to the nation’s capital.
In a video on her YouTube channel and referred to in court documents, Hemphill is heard saying, “Let’s do this; let’s go to the Capitol. We did it in Boise,” apparently referring to an instance in August 2020 when a group of people forced their way into a special Idaho legislative session about the pandemic, smashing a glass door on the way.
“Oh yeah. We broke the glass door. Watch the video. I’m with People’s Rights. Ammon Bundy,” FBI agents reported that she said in the video. “Don’t worry, Trump’s coming in office.”
Hemphill has a plea agreement hearing on Jan. 21.
TYLER TEW, IDAHO FALLS
The 39-year-old was the Idahoan most recently arrested, in December, on charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.
Photos in court records show Tew at the Capitol on Jan. 6, wearing a hat supporting Trump. In June, FBI agents served Tew with a search warrant for his cellphone. A day after, he posted on Facebook that his phone had been “stolen.”
In a conversation over Facebook Messenger, Tew responded to one person who had asked whether he’d been in the Capitol: “I was inside. Got pepper sprayed.” On his Facebook account, he made many posts repeating Trump’s falsehood that the 2020 election was “stolen.”
In one Facebook conversation, Tew responded to an individual who had asked about being arrested. “You got me worried when you asked haha … Scaring me,” he wrote.
Tew has a status conference hearing on Feb. 8.