HELENA — It’s been two years and four months since the events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. So far, more than 1,000 people have faced charges in connection to the riot, including a Dillon man who is scheduled to go to trial next week.
The next Montana-connected trial is slated to be that of Isaac Steve Sturgeon on May 15.
Sturgeon, along with co-defendant Craig Bingert of Pennsylvania, is accused of more than a half dozen charges including assaulting a police officer.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that Sturgeon was seen on an officer's body-worn camera outside the Capitol and was part of a group that picked up a metal barricade and shoved it into a group of D.C. Metropolitan Police officers.
On Thursday, May 11, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia Royce C. Lamberth agreed to Sturgeon’s request for a bench trial, where the judge rather than a jury will weigh the evidence and testimony for a verdict.
Sturgeon was arrested at the JFK International Airport in March 2021 after being deported from Kenya. He told authorities that he wasn’t trying to flee and witnesses said that Sturgeon traveled frequently. A search of his name shows Sturgeon had been stuck in Morocco at the start of the pandemic, but received help in returning to the U.S.
Of the eight individuals facing charges with direct Montana ties, five have pleaded guilty or been convicted while three others including Sturgeon await trial.
Hank Muntzer, also from Dillon, is set to go to trial on July 10.
Muntzer is accused of entering the Capitol that day with the intent to impede and disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by Congress. The Dillon native has stated previously he believes video evidence from that day will show he did nothing wrong.
In court documents, federal investigators say Muntzer can be seen in the U.S. Capitol on footage captured by an MSNBC news crew. He is also accused of recording videos inside the U.S. Capitol and posting them to social media.
The third Montanan awaiting trial is Patrick William O'Brien of Great Falls.
O’Brien is accused of driving to D.C. with his juvenile son and was seen on CCTV in the Capitol building on January 6 waving a “Gadsden” flag. He was charged in January of 2023; a trial date has not yet been scheduled.
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