BOISE, Idaho — One year after a failed insurrection at our nation's Capitol Building, the criminal cases of Idahoans accused of participating continue to wend their way through federal court.
Six Idaho residents in total have been charged in the riot, which left five people dead, hundreds of police officers injured, and an estimated $1.5 million in damage.
The attack began the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021 when scores of supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building, clashing violently with Capitol Police and smashing their way inside in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election, which current President Joe Biden won by more than 7 million individual votes and 74 Electoral College votes.
The breach interrupted the electoral count, with rioters threatening Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and erecting a gallows to lynch then-vice president Mike Pence. The attempted coup was unsuccessful, and the certification process continued after law enforcement regained control of the building, ultimately confirming Biden as the victor.
Many of those charged in the events of Jan. 6 - including a number of the Idaho defendants - say they believed falsehoods about voter fraud and the 2020 election being "stolen." In fact, exhaustive bipartisan investigations found no evidence of widespread fraudulent voting or ballot tampering anywhere in the U.S.
Two of the six Idaho defendants have pleaded guilty to felony charges, while others are still waiting for their cases to be adjudicated. All six have been allowed to remain out of custody as their cases pend.
Here are the statuses of all six Idaho defendants:
Josiah Colt of Meridian was the first Idaho resident to be charged in the Capitol coup and the first to plead guilty. The 35-year-old was arrested after bragging online about joining the riot and being photographed dangling from a balcony in the evacuated Senate chamber and later sitting in a chair in the chambers reserved for Pence.
In an interview with KTVB following his arrest, Colt said he had not hurt anyone in the Capitol and was sorry for his role in the siege. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding - a felony - in July, and is due to appear in court for a status conference Jan. 19.
The second Idahoan to plead guilty in the sprawling criminal case, 67-year-old Duke Wilson of Nampa faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing on March 4.
Wilson admitted in September to assaulting a federal officer and obstructing an official proceeding in the failed coup. According to the FBI, he hit a police officer with a PVC pipe, punched and pushed others to the ground, and assisted a crowd in wrenching a riot shield away from an officer who was being overwhelmed by the rioters in the lower west terrace tunnel of the U.S. Capitol.
Wilson, who had been recorded on officers' body cameras and other clips uploaded to YouTube, was arrested in April.
Yvonne St. Cyr
Boise resident Yvonne St. Cyr live-streamed herself inside the Capitol during the breach, recording the inside of senators' offices and other rioters breaking windows in the building. In an interview with KTVB, she said she had not meant to go inside and did not think anyone would be arrested for storming the Capitol.
She is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, both misdemeanors. St. Cyr had been arrested in Boise the month before the coup for refusing to leave the Central District Health building during a protest about coronavirus precautions.
St. Cyr was arrested on the federal charges in February, and is due back in court for a status conference on Jan. 17.
Michael Pope of Sandpoint traveled to Washington D.C. ahead of the riot along with his brother, a Kansas state man also facing federal charges, according to law enforcement. Pope was recorded inside the building on news broadcasts and on a Facebook video taken just outside the Capitol in which his brother introduces him by full name while pointing the camera at his face.
Pope turned himself in on Feb. 12. He is charged with felony counts of obstructing or impeding official proceedings and civil disorder as well as misdemeanor counts 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, impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
He is due to appear in court Jan. 11.
Pam Hemphill of Boise was charged in August with four misdemeanors in connection to the Capitol breach: entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
The fifth Idahoan arrested, Hemphill was recorded on surveillance video inside the Capitol and posted videos online showing her in D.C. ahead of the failed coup and outside the Capitol Building as a crowd clashed with the officers trying to hold them back.
In one video uploaded to YouTube - then later deleted - Hemphill can be seen encouraging others to push toward the Capitol building, according to the FBI.
“Let’s do this; let’s go to the Capitol. We did it in Boise," Hemphill said. “Oh yeah. We broke the glass door. Watch the video. I’m with People’s Rights, Ammon Bundy.”
The FBI noted that Hemphill appeared to be referring to the Idaho Legislature's special session in August 2020, in which a large group of protestors shoved Idaho State Police troopers while trying to force their way into the House gallery.
Hemphill is set for a status conference on Jan. 21.
The latest Idahoan to be charged in the riot, Tyler Tew of Idaho Falls was taken into custody after someone who knew him tipped off the FBI. According to law enforcement, Tew posted about the attack on the Capitol on Facebook and was recorded on body cameras and other video entering the Capitol and later being pepper-sprayed by officers near the north door.
Tew is believed to have deleted incriminating messages and photos related to the breach, according to an indictment, but some of the data - including selfies taken inside the building - was successfully recovered. Geolocation data from Tew's cellphone also places him inside the Capitol, officials say.
Tew is charged with misdemeanor counts 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.
A status conference in the case is set for Feb. 8.
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