Capitol Rioters In Their 20s Who Entered Senate Chamber Found Guilty Of Felonies

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A pair of North Carolina men — Christopher Carnell and David Worth Bowman — were each found guilty on Monday of a serious felony charge stemming from participation in the Capitol violence of early 2021 spurred by lies tracing to Donald Trump of a stolen election.

Both Carnell and Bowman were identified by authorities as in their early 20s. Alongside a slew of misdemeanor offenses, they were found guilty at a bench trial — meaning trial proceedings where the judge decided the outcome — of obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Prosecutors have used the charge in a large number of Capitol riot cases.

The pair were among the January 6 participants who also attended the large, outdoor rally in the capital that day where then-outgoing President Donald Trump advanced his lies of systematic fraud — lies he still propagates despite the consistent rebuttals from credible authorities across levels of government. Carnell and Bowman eventually entered the Capitol building and the Senate chamber, the latter of which was the site of hurried evacuations as the pro-Trump crowds descended on the building amid Congressional proceedings meant to certify the outcome from the 2020 presidential election.

“In an open-source video, Carnell can be seen discussing documents taken off of a Senator’s desk, while Bowman reviewed and photographed, and later texted, other materials from the desks,” a federal press release on the two states. There was a quick turnaround in the proceedings against the two, both of whom were arrested less than a year ago. Precedent suggests that Carnell and Bowman could get lengthy prison sentences, possibly reaching years apiece.

Trump continues essentially advocating for the rioters, referring to detainees with criminal allegations originating in the day as “hostages.” He used the language at the same campaign rally where he recently threatened the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), suggesting he’d encourage Russia to advance militarily on U.S. allies in the alliance if they fell short of ostensible financial obligations, the nature of which Trump misrepresents.